Album Reviews

The Dandy Warhols – Welcome To The Monkey House

(Parlophone) UK release date: 19 May 2003

The Dandy Warhols - Welcome To The Monkey House They’re pansexual, get their bits out regularly and exist purely on the finest drugs and wines, but in between all this near-mythical debauchery they also knock up the odd great tune. And whilst it’s unlikely any of them will get ‘linked’ with a Girls Aloud star, The Dandy Warhols also make fantastic pop stars.

Taking its title from a Kurt Vonnegut short story collection, Welcome To The Monkey House is a considerable departure from previous Dandy albums. After the deserved success of Bohemian Like You – and album Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia – Courtney and co could’ve sat back and churned out wry stoner classics by the dozen. This time though, the original drone-rock Stones/Velvets/Spiritualized vibes have been buried beneath a sheen of burbles, fizzles and general electronic malarkey.

Having expressed a fondness for the rock/funk of early Duran Duran – who themselves originally wanted to be a mix of Chic and The Sex Pistols – it’s no surprise Duran’s Nick Rhodes co-produces most of it, and his mucker, Simon Le Bon comes along for the ride (adding backing vocals on the cocaine-funk of Plan A).

Chic themselves crop up with Nile Rodgers adding a funksome strum on I Am A Scientist, and if that wasn’t enough for you to get the Martinis out, David Bowie producer Tony Visconti turns up to add bass to standout The Dope (Wonderful You). And before you thought it had all gone a bit yachts and hair-dye, album highlight You Were The Last High is a co-write with Evan Dando (which sounds a teensy bit like a-ha – ie: a good thing).

A clever, cool and gradual grower of an album, Welcome To The Monkey House sees a band developing without any desperate We-hope-you-like-our-new-direction!-isms. The Dandy Warhols are turning out to be very great indeed.

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