The Dandy Warhols
Distortland


3.2
good

Review

by insomniac15 STAFF
April 5th, 2016 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When you’re too busy partying…

Sometimes I get quite frustrated when listening to The Dandy Warhols, mainly because of their inconsistency. The band proved on several occasions they can be damn catchy and fun, while also exploring their psychedelic leanings. However, just as many times laziness sets in, thus prompting them to deliver some half-assed efforts that go nowhere. On their previous LP, This Machine, the overall sound was stripped of the multiple layers of effects, a move that proved to be both rewarding and disappointing. Whereas it’s important to mention the fact they haven’t released the same album twice, putting together an album’s worth of songs periodically felt like a chore.

In many ways, Distortland shares the same overall production as This Machine, but was taped on an ‘80s cassette recorder in Pete’s basement. There’s a vintage vibe surrounding the LP, unfortunately, the lack of power is poignant. The dry sound turned this into a campy version of previous affairs. The original version of Welcome to the Monkey House, released as The Dandy Warhols Are Sound, might be the closest relative, bringing the psych folk and electronic influences altogether. As usual, there’s a wide array of ideas thrown around, some of them pretty cool. ‘STYGGO’ (Some Things You Got to Get Over) is the biggest achievement, as it brings to mind the aforementioned, underrated gem in their discography. The disco beat, along with the cool bass line & acoustic drums lay the foundation for Courtney’s stoned croon. This is classic Dandys style, managing to capture your attention with a few chords and making you dance. Meanwhile, cuts like ‘Doves’ or ‘Give’ bring back that pastiche that once tied them with Brian Jonestown Massacre. The organ touches, whispered vocals, along with a subdued, campfire atmosphere throws you back into the late ‘60s. Another nice track is the poppy ‘You Are Killing Me’, bridging the gap between Distortland and its predecessor. Although the guitars sound a bit restrained, it still delivers, keeping the engine running.

Sadly, there is a string of tunes that I’m not sure what these guys meant to do with them. The first three tracks share some wavy synths that are ultimately abandoned. ‘Search Party’ is the most successful of them, being a laid back ditty with jangly guitars. The hazy vocals bring that old-school atmosphere back, complete with hand claps and percussion. ‘Semper Fidelis’ boasts an interesting new wave tone, a shade darker than the rest of the album. Even so, it falls flat due to the band’s laziness. The vocals are thrown somewhere in the background, while the structure is monotonous. Moreover, ‘The Grow Up Song’, the short album closer is ultimately a throwaway. When you have a 33-minute album, it’s disappointing to hear “interludes” like this song. They could’ve expanded it, playing the same chords with tons of effects over it and the results would've been significantly improved.

I must admit I wasn’t expecting such a short album. They have always created complete journeys, no matter how awesome or half-baked. Narrowing things down might be an experiment, yet I’d blame them for their indolence. There are a handful of potential hits on Distortland, still they needed some structuring or at least a more powerful instrumental to be compelling. Although they have maintained that “keep it to the point” theory throughout their works, those 3-4 chords left bare bones cannot work wonders every time. Quite a shame, they could do so much better...maybe next time.




Recent reviews by this author
Causa Sui Vibraciones DoradasCairo Knife Fight Seven
Bodyjar Terra FirmaCarbon Based Lifeforms Derelicts
Monolord RustWith the Dead Love from With the Dead
user ratings (20)
Chart.
2.2
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2016


4388 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Unfortunately, it's a disappointing release. Better luck next time



'STYGGO' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCVgWq9B_HE



Stream it here - http://dinealonerecords.com/news/stream-the-dandy-warhols-distortland-lp/

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2016


11757 Comments


good to see these guys still kickin it

oisincoleman64
April 5th 2016


2120 Comments


CAUSE I FEEL
WA-HO
WHOO
WHOO HOO HOO

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2016


30791 Comments


ugh i will never get myself to listen to this. damn im an old piece of shit.

Zanareth
April 6th 2016


296 Comments


YOU WERE THE LAAAAAAST HIGH
IIIIII-IIIIII-IIIIGH
IIIIII-I-IIIII-IIIIGH
IIII-I-IIIIIIGH

I liked STYGGO, will listen to the whole thing soon.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 6th 2016


4388 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

The Last High is a fucking gem. I love that song

Welcome to the Monkey House is underrated IMO.

Unfortunately, nothing here comes anywhere close -_-

vonseux
April 7th 2016


265 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah, kinda of a letdown but not disappointing. hard to think this band still have milk to dry. have not yeat read a good review about this album, but I might as well hit Play on my streamming service now and then

SitarHero
April 8th 2016


5985 Comments


A disappointing album still rates a 3.2?

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2016


4388 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

It's disappointing to me, because most of their records are rated higher and are considerably better.

Still there's a handful of good tunes here. I was a bit subjective, otherwise I would've given it a 2.9 or 3.

SitarHero
April 8th 2016


5985 Comments


Ahh gotcha.

JohnnyBiggs
April 10th 2016


100 Comments


Album is a let down but some of the tracks here are among their best. Styggo is awesome and Give is beautiful. But yeah, Semper Fidelis is unlistenable IMO. Still love the Dandys but yeah, album is a disappointment.

LordePots
June 4th 2016


38263 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

this album is fucking lamer than a horse with floppy dildos for legs tbh

Digging: Blondes - Warmth

conditionals
June 20th 2017


535 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album isn't great, but it's short and packed with some solid songs. Registers as a 3 for me. Then again, this is based on what I thought about 6 months ago when I last listened to it - right now I can't remember any songs outside of 'STYGGO' and 'You Are Killing Me'.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy