Review Summary: Why You So Lazy?
The Dandy Warhols have embarked on a quest to strip their sound ever since This Machine
was conceived. While never ones to stagnate sonic-wise, their decisions have been questionable lately. Their previous album ended up as a baked version of their usual selves, rarely taking off. Distortland
felt quite vapid for a band whose main appeal is catchiness through straightforward grooves. Unfortunately, their latest bong trip, Why You So Crazy
falls on its nose too. The disappointingly flat production was applied to a set of tracks that more often present themselves as sketches rather than fully fleshed songs. Moreover, this LP just gently passes you by, revealing itself to be devoid of any truly memorable songs (even its predecessor had ‘STYGGO’ & ‘You Are Killing Me’ which were cool and had replay value).
Even the songs that are worthy of a few spins inspire a list of possible tweaks to enhance their potential and hide flaws. For example, ‘Terraform’ reminisces the deep bass grooves of ‘The Dope’ off Welcome to the Monkey House
. I must admit it gave me hope upon the first listen, only to rapidly realize it doesn’t go anywhere. There are some interesting feedback and delay-soaked guitar leads popping up, but that’s about it. Courtney’s croons seem sung from an adjacent room, not boasting any hooks. The group simply relied on a solid synth progression to drive everything, however, it doesn’t. Meanwhile, the late ‘90s throwback, ‘Be Alright’ sounds as if the guitarists forgot to press their distortion pedals. It’s the closest they have come to the original Dandy sound in a while, still, if you’re going to do it, do it right goddamnit. Towards the end, the ‘80s goth-inspired ditty, ‘Forever’ makes use of steel drums to augment its odd-but-ultimately-interesting swaying rhythm. I find it mildly entertaining, although so far, I can’t decide if the vocals help or not. As soon as the track gives way to album closer, ‘Ondine’, a six-minute virtuoso piano solo that makes no sense in this already nonsensical context, I gave up on Why You So Crazy
. I actually wanted/hoped this longest cut (amid these 2 or 3-minute numbers) to save this entire journey, but it didn’t. No matter how much I admire The Dandy Warhols for marching to their own beat, never compromising (and I’m all for crazy experimentation), their musical output lately seems like the result of excessive brain frying sessions in their own Odditorium. Regrettably, this current direction is aimless and simply boring, so I wish they snapped out of it and rebrand themselves.