Lead by iconic frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor, the Dandy Warhols are one of pop music's most inspired and musically infectious bands, embodying the wild abandon and hedonist artistry of rock's past. The Portland, Oregon quartet mix a heavy dose of 1960s sounds (from swirling psychedelia to the Velvet Underground) with the smacked-out guitar washes of British shoegazers like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. A highly-publicized spat with their colleagues in San Francisco's Brian Jonestown Massacre formed the basis of the acclaimed documentary DIG!, and solidified the Warhols' reputation as one of the most adventurous and enjoyable rock bands of the 1990s and 00s.
The long hiatus that led to the Dandy Warhols' masterful third album, Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia, promoted leaps-and-bounds growth in this already excellent band's music. Layers, layers, and more layers of guitars coexist here with trippy soundscapes, doot-doo-doo choruses, and even an eyebrow-cocked nod to hip-hop ("Yo, bitch," frontman Courtney Taylor mutters, sounding like Lou Reed reading an Ice Cube lyric sheet). By turns galloping, propulsive, hushed, and majestic, this is music that openly steals--from the Stones, Kinks, and Cars, among others--while fusing its sources into a unique whole of its own. Taylor lives up to the wide-screen promise of the disc's title, offering a series of what Game Theory once called "pointed accounts of people you know." The characters here brag about how they "got a beautiful new Asian girlfriend" ("Solid"), live the bicoastal high life in "itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny ridin'-up-your-butt bikini[s]" ("Horse Pills"), seek reassurance that an affair is "just a casual, casual, easy thing" ("Bohemian Like You"), and offer advice in the middle of a breakup argument: "Hey, man, turn that shit off." Seedily glamorous and replete with the best vocal asides since Jarvis Cocker let it bleed all over Pulp's Different Class, Thirteen Tales will convince you that rock is alive--and that you should still care. --Rickey Wright
Dandy Warhols Photos
More from Dandy Warhols
The Dandy Warhols Come Down
Odditorium or Warlords of Mars
Welcome to the Monkey House
If You Enjoy "Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia (CD)", May We Also Recommend: