The Dandy Warhols - This Machine

by Mark Hensch

.
This Machine is the darkest Dandy Warhols album yet. If earlier releases were raucous bonfire parties, this latest addition is gray skies and dying embers the morning after. Minimal and stark, it pulls from their Portland, Ore. home and delivers gloom that's pure Pacific Northwest. It's a welcome reinvention, and one that finds the Warhols sounding more sophisticated than ever before.

This doesn't mean that the quartet's joyous alt-rock exists in days gone by. Rather, This Machine strips the Dandy Warhols down and leaves their basic elements vulnerable and bare. Though this less-is-more approach is often quieter, it's no less entertaining. The Warhols' catchy but quirky voice remains intact, only this time it whispers rather than shouts.

"Sad Vacation" makes this style shift instantly apparent by fleeting past like a bird's shadow. A patter of drums soft as rainfall backs twinkling guitars and singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor's hushed murmurs. Though seemingly subdued, the end result is a Goth rock anthem with plenty of go.

"The Autumn Carnival" taps much the same vein with ghostly sing-songs and haunting melodies. There's something macabre about how it lingers in one's memory, and it's this quality that makes it one of the album's best songs.

"Enjoy Yourself," in contrast, offers levity with a sneering ode to hedonism. Taylor-Taylor brags and boasts his way to the chorus, where the whole band offers a joyous sing-along. "Alternative Power to the People" gives off the same good vibes, the unhinged instrumental sounding like a great garage rock gig.

Both prepare the way for "Well They're Gone," a jaw-dropping number that drifts by like an unrealized dream. Delicate and lush, its heartbeat is hypnotic drumming, its mind rustic guitar chords and its soul world-weary. Blended together, it sends shivers down the spine.

"Rest Your Head" is a song that'd make The Pixies proud, all jangly melodies and somber, wordless choruses. It couldn't differ more than "16 Tons," a cover of a 1940s folk song by Merle Travis. Brash and boozy, it shimmies by with outrageous horn sections and jazzy percussion. The same brass instruments bolster "I Am Free," providing it with a lively solo amid its rousing pop rock.

From there, This Machine delves into the lighthearted psychedelia that's always defined The Dandy Warhols. "SETI vs. The Wow Signal" is the album's last rocker, letting big riffs soar into space while a trippy, blistering guitar solo orbits the whole affair. "Don't Shoot She Cried," meanwhile, is so hazy and ethereal it feels like falling asleep as sunlight peeks through the curtains. Last but not least, "Slide" shuts down This Machine with a rocker that appears subdued on the surface but urgent underneath. It's a final touch of twilight on an album that's often overcast but not without rays of light.

This Machine is a back-to-basics approach for The Dandy Warhols that works wonders. Sparse and serene, it makes the band's energy more palpable regardless of the tempo they're treading. Though their latest shows these Warhols aren't always fine and dandy, it's this dose of darkness which is just what the doctor ordered.

Tracklisting
Sad Vacation
The Autumn Carnival
Enjoy Yourself
Alternative Power to the People
Well They're Gone
Rest Your Head
16 Tons (Merle Travis Cover)
I Am Free
SETI vs. the Wow Signal
Don't Shoot She Cried
Slide


The Dandy Warhols - This Machine
Rating:

Share this article
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Pin it Share on Reddit email this article

More articles for this artist .



advertisement

advertisement

News Reports
Day in Rock:
Allman Brothers' Wife Arrested For Threatening To Shoot Teens- Eagles and Fleetwood Mac Confirm Classic Rock Festivals Details- Blink 182 Streaming New Song Called 'Misery'- more

Guns N' Roses Reunion Tops Lucrative Tour List- Aerosmith Postpone American Tour Plans- Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon Item Sells For Big Dollars- Rob Halford Box Set- more

Dave Grohl Leads Sammy Hagar Acoustic Event Lineup- ELO Cofounder Not Attending Rock Hall Induction- Rammstein Announce New Release, Stone Sour and Korn Show- more

Day in Pop:
Family Holds Private Funeral For George Michael- Louis Tomlinson Awaits Decision Over Airport Arrest Charges- Justin Timberlake Teases Pharrell, Timbaland Collaboration- more

Woman Jailed For Playing Ed Sheeran Hit Over And Over- Rihanna's 'Bates Motel' Shower Scene Goes Online- Drake Angers Fans After Canceling Show At The Last Minute- more

Fetty Wap Reportedly Involved In Argument That Led To Shootings- Adele Says She May Never Tour Again- Drake Shatters Record With 'More Life' Release- The Chainsmokers- more

advertisement


Reviews

Ministry - The Last Sucker

Ships Have Sailed - Whispers EP

RockPile: Prog Edition: Steve Hillage- Van Der Graaf Generator- Richard Barbieri

On The Record: The Dollyrots - Whiplash Splash

TBT: Down III Over the Under

Les Bohem - Moved to Duarte

In Tribute: Chuck Berry Live In Chicago

Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy

Emmet Cahill - Emmet Cahill's Ireland

American Dreamer - Restless Nights

Rock Reads: Out of the Basement: From Cheap Trick to DIY Punk in Rockford, Illinois, 1973-2005

Dan Webb - Oedipus The King

Root 66 Week: Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band - Standing on Faith

Derek Davis - Revolutionary Soul

Root 66 Week: Darin and Brooke Aldridge - Faster and Farther

Road Trip: The True/False Film Fest 2017

Root 66 Week: Chip Taylor - A Song I Can Live With

Zucchero - Black Cat

Mike Llerena - Absence & The Heart

Root 66: Charlie and the Regrets - Rivers in the Streets

Tony K's Best Films Of 2016 List

Chickn - Chickn more

Rock News Stories
Allman Brothers' Wife Arrested For Threatening To Shoot Teens

Eagles and Fleetwood Mac Confirm Classic Rock Festivals Details

Blink 182 Streaming New Song Called 'Misery'

Rock Hall Announce ELO, Journey Presenters and Prince Tribute

Ziggy Stardust, American Pie Lead Additions To National Recording Registry

Nick D'Virgilio Returning To Spock's Beard For New Album

The Ghost Inside's Zach Johnson To Undergo Major Surgery

alt-J Streaming New Single 'In Cold Blood'

Bernie Torme Releasing Triple Album Next Week

Gary Clark Jr. Expands North American Tour

Pearl Jam Share Career Spanning 'Alive' Video To Celebrate Rock Hall Induction

Oceano Announce New Album and Spring Tour

Bob Dylan To Finally Accept His Nobel Prize

Kenny Loggins And Friends TV Special Announced

To Kill A King Covering The National For Record Store Day

First Class Trash Release 'Party On' Video

more

B-Side Stories
Family Holds Private Funeral For George Michael

Louis Tomlinson Awaits Decision Over Airport Arrest Charges

Justin Timberlake Teases Pharrell Williams, Timbaland Collaboration

John Legend Does Surprise Performance At Train Station

2 Chainz and Nicki Minaj Confirm New Collaboration

Rascal Flatts Reveal New Album 'Back to Us' Track Details

Lana Del Rey Announces New Album 'Lust for Life'

Cole Swindell and Dierks Bentley Release 'Flatliner' Video

Rihanna Teased In New 'Valerian' Trailer

Shania Twain May Premiere New Single at ACM Awards

Video Of Hard-Rocking 12-Year-Old Lorde Streaming Online

DJ Khaled Reveals He Is Starring In 'Pitch Perfect 3'

ACM Awards Announce More Big Names For Upcoming Event

50 Cent Tease New Comeback Collaboration

Demi Lovato Joins Jimmy Fallon For Latest Edition Of Ew!

Singled Out: J.Ven's Barely Alive

more



Follow Us:

Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2016 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.