If the multifaceted Why You So Crazy does not encourage clear-cut reception, its creative energy seems a solution to fill in the lyrical gaps
In the ephemeral music world, a quarter-century of activity sounds like a damn lot. That’s what the Dandy Warhols’ Why You So Crazy – out via Dine Alone Records since January 25th – accomplishes. To be accurate, it seals twenty-five years and the 10th studio album, just to celebrate two milestones at once.
Portland-based quartet has already released three asymmetrical
singles out of this new record. They anticipated indeed an eclectic
result, a blend of mutant folk-pop and metallic, post-industrial
tones. The work is an anti-structural “od(d)yssey” and shows
multiple, uneven souls, in a pilgrimage through different musical
galaxies. Jumping from popular to
niche, oscillating from metaphysical to mundane, shifting from plain
to uncanny and then mixing them all. Building up and assorting
riffs, hooks, jingles and refrains in a sequential, almost random
Parts of this exploration may either capture or narcotize along blank spaceship synth-cruises (“Terraform”, “Next Thing I Know”) or dissonant parenthesis (“To The Church”). The star-trekking enterprise at a point vanishes, landing on the classic prairies and choral blues tones of “Sins Are Forgiven”. This song is the perfect median between the cyber-billy of “Highlife” (where the main voice is McCabe’s) and “Small Town Girls”, with its automatic pop. There is also time for a psyche-dancing party, with “Thee Elegant Bum” and the first release “Forever”, a mix of electronic sound and darkness.
Alright” is a self-fulfilling prophecy of the band’s success,
irrespective of any
recognition. The keyboard rules you out of reality and, without
asking for permission, brings you up a staircase to hereafter.
In the meanwhile, in another world, guitar and voice reword and
refrain it all into a catchphrase of amusement. No
need to wonder why this one has the genes of an indie-pop anthem.
City Steel” is the third and most recent single. In this
voice-guided, pop-culture-parody-infused beat, irony seems to abound
as the narrative device. Driving you along a simple yet universal
story and having fun through the commonplaces of a nursery-rhyme
highway. Just to keep up with internal contrast and go on the
conclusive tangent, “Ondine” is the last and longest song of the
album. It is fully instrumental, lead by classical piano and ruffled
by a few, scattered, light synth-shocks.
If the multifaceted Why You So Crazy does not encourage clear-cut reception, its creative energy seems a solution to fill in the lyrical gaps. Just floating into them, as narration voids to enjoy or just misunderstand, in all liberty.
The Dandy Warhols are now in the midst of their European tour, with forthcoming concerts in Glasgow (January 30th), Manchester (January 31st) and London (February 2nd).