The Dandy Warhols
ROCKMAKER


3.4
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
March 18th, 2024 | 12 replies


Release Date: 03/15/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Shake some rust off.

The Dandy Warhols have always been a polarizing band, drawing criticism for various reasons, whether inconsistency, shallowness, laziness or arrogance, to name a few. Nevertheless, they have always operated on their own terms. Even landing a couple of hits didn’t stop them from experimenting or moving on to different sonic territories. During the last decade, they embraced a certain lo-fi minimalism that extended to the production as well. 2019’s Why You So Crazy was the album where all the negative factors met, ending up the most subdued and dry affair in their catalog. Longtime fans embraced its odd charm, however, it was the hardest one to digest. Five years later, ROCKMAKER threatens to shake things up with its bold title. It’s no revelation, unfortunately, but it breathes new life into the machine. Somehow it feels like a cold shower, displaying a considerable dose of cynicism amid meatier hooks. Front man, Courtney Taylor-Taylor was significantly shaken by the multiple calamities witnessed since 2020. Therefore, his caustic lyrics define the LP’s mood and work well with the heavier riffs. The collaboration with Black Francis (Pixies), “Danzig with Myself” shares a muddy riff, loud drums, as well as various noisy sound scapes and guitar wails in the background. The singer’s once hippy attitude is gone as he croons “half the people alive today are ***ing idiots, surely it’s they who brought about our end of days”. Harsh words, but with everything happening in the world right now, it’s hard not to agree with him on a bad day. Meanwhile, the rock ‘n’ roll ditty and highlight, “Summer of Hate” is one of the catchiest numbers the band penned lately. It’s easy to dance on its grooves and forget about the sarcastic verses. Moreover, “I’d Like to Help You with Your Problem” brings Slash for extra punch and solos on its’ stoner influenced main rhythm. Extra points for the balanced production, letting the tune properly unfold.

Moving to the second half of ROCKMAKER, we can find more of the sardonic party material. Bangers such as “The Cross”, “Love Thyself” or “Alcohol and Cocainemarijuananicotine”, all start with bouncy bass lines, each going in a different direction afterwards. The former’s sleazy, dive bar vibe is perhaps the most effective overall, as “Alcohol…” ended up too on the nose. Musically, the latter is a worthy follow up to “The Dope”, yet Courtney sounds too sober to truly join the party. At his age, he’s keener on sitting at the lounge, commenting and reminiscing the days of yore over a fine wine. On the other hand, “Love Thyself” bursts in with an immediate, Sleaford Mods-like, post punk grit, before the slow burning closer, “I Will Never Stop Loving You” takes over. The gravelly, Tom Waits-esque storytelling Taylor shares over a cinematic, piano-led instrumental works fantastic in between Debbie Harry’s longing choruses. The group tried something different here and it really works. Overall, ROCKMAKER stands as one of the group’s most cohesive LPs in a long time, automatically making it easier to follow through and digest. There are a couple of eyebrow-raising cuts, yet none of them are throwaways. Traces of that flat, dry production can still be found, but it’s passable. Nevertheless, The Dandy Warhols continue their explorations, however, this time they seemed more eager to develop the songs rather than creating a mood with minimal contributions and letting it brood.



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user ratings (7)
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2024


6190 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

I enjoyed this, still it could have been better.



Stream here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWvyRhu1aeI&list=OLAK5uy_nBoK4OUA3InbEsS-4zRQQu4D85FZmaK7Y&index=1

ABalefulAura
March 18th 2024


119 Comments


dig their early albums but i sampled some of this and it was kinda bad. the most recent BJM album was better than this. nice review though and glad to see stuff like this still getting reviewed

DoofDoof
March 18th 2024


15103 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

one of the worst of the year so far

ABalefulAura
March 18th 2024


119 Comments


the album opener and Real People are straight up hard to listen to

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2024


6190 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Was expecting this Doof after I saw your rating lol





Yeah the opener is a bit of a dud but it picks up after that

DoofDoof
March 18th 2024


15103 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I can't actually remember if I've listened to another of their albums in full before this one :/



Didn't get the appeal of this one anyway, good review though

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2024


6190 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

The last album of theirs I really dug was Earth to the Dandy Warhols, after that it’s been mixed bags.

markjamie
March 19th 2024


718 Comments


Doof it's not THAT bad! The Frank Black and Debbie Harry songs are genuinely good. Fair bit of crap in between though...

JohnDillinger
March 19th 2024


336 Comments


One of those bands that exist.

DoofDoof
March 19th 2024


15103 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

the band name was always going to exist at some stage...not entirely sure the band itself had to exist

bloc
March 19th 2024


70237 Comments


Not feeling bohemian enough to give this a shot

Faraudo
March 19th 2024


4638 Comments


Stupid fucking band I hate it so much



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