Dandy Warhols: ...The Dandy Warhols Come Down

...The Dandy Warhols Come Down
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THE DRUGS ARE FUNNIER than Messrs Ashcroft and Pierce have been letting on. What with our current thing for malfunctioning Class As and suffering artistes, we'd be forgiven for thinking that being in a band was a bit of a chore.
Then along comes The Dandy Warhols' 'Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth', a subversive melodic broadside against taste, decency and po-faced smack rock grumbling. With an opening line of "I never thought you'd be a junkie/Because heroin is so pass", and a video featuring dancing syringes, it blows raspberries in the face of such grumblings. And sounds groovy doing it.

You may rightly suspect that its authors are something other than your Next Corporate Indie Thing. Portland, Oregon's The Dandy Warhols are, indeed, a band the like of which has not been seen for some time in these remorse-rock lands: a breast-baring, many-limbed mobile party that has two fingers crossed behind its back when in the presence of a record company authority figure.

There would be the small matter of a disappearing advance, you see. Signed to Capitol/Parlophone on the back of the hoopla surrounding their 1995 indie debut, 'The Dandy Warhols Rule OK', Courtney Taylor, Eric Hedford, Pete Holmstrone and Zia McCabe allegedly did the natural rock thing and squandered it all. The dog ate all their tunes, too. So - the story goes - they were dispatched to a basement to make swift amends. 'The Dandy Warhols Come Down' is the quite literal result.

And, for a panic-fuelled, wasted bodge of a second album, it's actually rather good. Overlong, certainly, but laden with velvet moods. Which is odd, given that The Dandy Warhols' presence in your heads will be due to their two near-perfect pop singles: '...Junkie', and the honeyed, hedonistic 'Every Day Should Be A Holiday', which glammed its way into the Top 30 in February.

These singles crop up midway through a record otherwise draped with hazy Velvets-meet-Ride psychedelia and knowing tributes. 'Minnesoter' (sic) is cod-Neil Young, while 'Good Morning' is The Cure sung by Lloyd Cole. There's even one called 'As Cool As Kim Deal', if the issue of the Warhols' admiration for other people's art were still unclear.

Fortunately, though, the Warhols have a thing for the opiated likes of Ultra Vivid Scene, too. And thus they knit these wayward elements together in a warm fug of Hammond, fuzz pedal and syrupy vocals.

Whatever they're having sounds good.