Drowned In Sounds' Welcome To The Monkey House review (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)

Welcome To The Monkey House
by Sean Adams
May 12, 2003

Laid out on your bed, what are you really searching for from a record?
…the answer to those big questions about existence? Read a book.
…or a friend? Phone one.
When your friends come over and you put on a record, what are you in need of?
…to show off how hip you are? Give up.
…or to show off that you can spend your money well on great music?
In the middle of the dance floor, what are you searching for?
What are you missing?
What is lacking in your world?
…guitars? danger? imagination? fun? d.i.s.c.o?
Forget these questions. ‘Welcome to the Monkey House’ is where we are now. Courtney Taylor is now Courtney Taylor-Taylor and he and Nick Rhodes have co-produced the house-party in a box that we’ve been waiting to come along, since.. well.. forever.
The ever-so-slightly arrogant rock-star-in-waiting strut's been replaced with quirky cool (see also: that bad Mohawk!). The rule book's been scribbled in. Pictures of famous people have been suitably defaced with ‘taches and horns. Flesh on flesh, humping to disco beats is happenin', all over the corridor. Primary colours aren’t frowned upon. Robot dancing like a complete idiot is totally called for, especially in the living room. The only thing you learn (and learn it good!) is you shouldn’t over-complicate anything. Keep it simple. Make it soaring and too cool 4 skool (without trying), and the greatest party ever, or at least a hit record will follow. Just free your mind. These rules have been stuck to like sticky thighs and it tastes golden.

Current single ‘We Used to Be Friends’ is the first jab they’ve sent out to explore the masses. It’s the kinda song that hi-jacks the radio (without trying) and found me singing at ridiculously highly doo-ooh-ooh oo-ooh-ooh, aah-aaaaah-aah-ah-ing and uh-uh-ing like Britney – not a pretty idea, but who needs conventional beauty? Not to mention shaking me booty, in the sassy way arses were designed to be shook. I love it when music does that. If it doesn't do that to you, please consult your doctor.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t all party, party, doo, doo, ooh, ooh, wah-oooh (‘The Dandy Warhols Love Almost Everyone’, 'Plan A', 'Hit Rock Bottom'), what rhymes, wha-whoo smarty? Thanks Marty. Oh no.. domino (’I Am A Scientist’). As much as it is feel-good and has parties in the wood with fire-walking, head-swaying, bill’n’ben’n’weed (’The Dope’) and that pop, the record is juxtaposed perfectly with further stonadelica explorations into comedown (LP-closer ’You Come In Burned’) and scruffy converse wanderings in shoe-gazing cyber-space (‘Insincere Because I’).. and best of all, they merge the two sounds, somehow, on the likes of ’Heavenly’ whacking the psychedelics with the anthemics. And yeah, there is a Bowie tripping moment on 'I Am Sound' but it'd be wrong not to have some trickling moomin key sounds somewhere on this record.

The best news of all is that the summer anthem is sat there waiting to hit every bookshop, coffee hole and every disco floor from here to Mars. It’s ‘You Were The Last High’, it’s a breathy love song, with breast-jiggly bits and if my predictions are anything to go by, it’s the first pop song to single-handedly unite the world since Michael Jackson. You don’t believe me and I wouldn’t blame you. Never trust a cynic, it’s the first rule of life. It’s the first thing The Dandys question as they lay down their rug beside the door step, asking why people need the media to believe things are true and slotting in the simplest of lines “When Michael Jackson dies, they’ll cover a black bird”. And with an opening like that, you can lie back and think of Summer. It's gonna be a good one.

Dandys Rule OK! They’re just what you’re looking for. Trust me.