There was a time, what seems like eons ago, when The Dandy Warhols’ blatant bush-league Lou Reedisms were (mildly) amusing. Around that time, they released 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia, an album that I still enjoy listening to. Since then, the Dandy Warhols have managed to squander every last bit of good will that I had toward them.
First, they named a shitty album after a Kurt Vonnegut book (that would be Welcome to the Monkey House) and then they followed it up with a monumentally shitty album (Odditorium or: Why The Fuck Are We Still A Band?), the only redeemable tracks on which sound exactly like tracks from 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia.
Now the Dandy Warhol’s are back with Earth to the Dandy Warhols, another pseudo-psychedelic platter of pig poo, the kind of bullshit album that should come with a warning sticker that says, “Warning: This Band Got Really High and Jerked Off In A Studio. Listener Discretion is Advised.” You know how you get when you’re stoned; no one should have to pay to listen to that over music you’ve ripped off from musical icons (usually The Velvet Undergound, but sometimes other great bands; but we’ll get to that in a second).
Courtney Taylor’s vocals are buried under a ton of annoying effects on Earth to the Dandy Dipshits, but it’s not like the music is compelling enough to make that forgivable. In fact, on “Welcome to the Third World,” The Dandies, apparently feeling they’ve mined The Velvet Underground for all they were worth, decide to brazenly rip off Paul Fucking Simonon’s bass line from “The Magnificent Seven.” Yes, that Paul Fucking Simonon, the bass player from The Clash. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? In the Overdrawn at the Memory Bank episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Crow T. Robot says, upon seeing a character watching Casablanca, “Hey, don’t put good movies in the middle of your crappy movie.” I would like to extend this warning to the Dandy Whorehols: don’t put Clash songs, some of the best songs ever, in your shitty little songs about… whatever the fuck your songs are about.
Which is another issue, among many to take with Earth to You Shameless Bastards: What the fuck are any of these songs about? It seems like most of them are somewhat about doing drugs and (maybe) fucking. I guess this is supposed to be psychedelic, but it’s mostly really annoying. All the songs feel an hour long, slow, gauzy droning songs that must seem really awesome when you do as much drugs as the Dandy Warhols.
If you watched the documentary Dig!, about the on-again/off-again feud between the Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, you may have come to this conclusion: both bands are just chock full of dickheads. Regardless of how good their music sometimes (rarely) is, these are Grade-A assbags who seem to have an endless line of credit with their dealers. And part of what makes them so awful is that they seem to genuniely not give a single shit about anything. This is the music they want to make, and the fact that Anton Newcombe talks about either band starting a revolution is laughable. Both bands are stuck in the basement in a cloud of pot smoke, praying to Lou Reed to appear and pronounce them Officially Cool. Well, guess what, assholes: Lou Reed may be kicking it with the Killers these days, but he’s gonna need a whole boatload of senility to hit him before he dignifies your shit with a response. (I hope; for all I know, Mr. Reed may be planning to work with The Dandies for their next album, at which point I will just pretend he has died.)
If you’re interested in keeping score, Earth to the Dandy Assholes is slightly less shitty than the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s 2008 offering My Bloody Underground which I’ve already cut to ribbons on this site. These two bands are capable of making music that doesn’t completely infuriate me, but they’ve elected to go the self-indulgent, insultingly derivative route, and have therefore earned all the scorn that can be heaped upon them. Hearing the bassline from “The Magnificent Seven” in a song as bad as “Welcome to the Third World” only reminds me that Joe Strummer (a man who once said that the most punk-rock thing you could do was to treat everyone with dignity and respect) will never again beat all six strings of his Telecaster and shout “Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust” but Courtney Taylor is still alive and making awful music. For which I can only say this: fuck Courtney Taylor, fuck The Dandy Warhols, and fuck fuck fuck this album.