The Dandy Warhols

Photo by Ray GordonTHE DANDY WARHOLS
WELCOME TO THE MONKEY HOUSE
CAPITOL RECORDS

Despite his meticulously trendy appearance, Dandy Warhols front man Courtney Taylor-Taylor's pompous denunciations of everything hip straddle the fine line between laughable self-indulgence and laudable, in-on-his-own-joke songwriting brilliance. On their last album, 2000's 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia, the band heralded the '70s hipster-bohemian revival movement of the late '90s and early '00s and targeted pretentious art fucks who were shelling out 50 bucks for faux-vintage Ziggy Stardust Ts with a heavy dose of sonic sarcasm. The result was a solidly rocking album that was equal parts Velvet Underground, Bowie and the Stones—going so far as to unabashedly steal the riff from "Brown Sugar" for "Bohemian Like You." It was a fabulously, albeit annoyingly, well-played prank: at a moment when retro worship was haute couture, hipsters wanted to denounce the album as a lame rip-off, only to find it impossible to do so without incriminating themselves. On the band's latest effort, Welcome to the Monkey House, the joke remains the same, but the era—we've regressed to the '80s, in case you haven't noticed—has shifted. Co-produced by Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes, the album is a neo-new wave amalgamation of synths and drum machines. From "Wonderful You" and "IAm a Scientist," during which Taylor-Taylor's soft, bored-with-the-world vocals hover over instantly catchy mid-'80s-New-Order dance beats, to "We Used to be Friends"—featuring a massive, keyboards-and-distortion-driven refrain of "Bring it on, bring it on, yeah!"—the Dandys present yet another addictive album of enjoyable rip-offs, the perfect companion to those Adam Ant shirts for sale on eBay.

 
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