The Dandy Warhols: The Capitol Years: 1995-2007

The Dandy Warhols
The Capitol Years: 1995-2007
(Capitol Records)

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In their new release, The Capitol Years: 1995-2007, the Dandy Warhols showcase some of their best work, with music from their first album in ’95, Dandys Rule, Ok?, through their last release on Capitol Records, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars.

If anything, this compilation shows how wide-ranging their sound really is. Though most of their music probably falls in the psych-pop or psych-rock genres, the band also touches on fuzzed out, feedback-laden, shoegazer sounds on tracks like “Holding Me Up” and “Everyday Should Be a Holiday,” which sounds like a slightly raunchy, 90’s version of a Beach Boys song. Lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor sounds a bit like Iggy Pop or even Lou Reed on the dark song “Good Morning” and then a bit like Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters with his upper-range vocals on “We Used to Be Friends.” The Dandys also pick up a bit of a grunge feel on “This Is the Tide,” for which a new music video was just filmed.

Also featured is “Scientist,” a synth-heavy, robotic, dance track co-written by Bowie (and boy can you tell!). Though some of the songs on the album were dull and probably throw-aways to begin with, there are a few top-notch tracks, like “Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth” and “All the Money or the Simple Life.”

“Junkie,” which was written back in the band’s earlier days, is about Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, a band with whom the Dandys had a tumultuous relationship, due in most part to Newcombe’s heroin addiction and the destructive behaviors that resulted; (More often than not, the band got into fistfights on stage, mid-performance, which were typically initiated by Newcombe.) Though these two bands were initially friends, this erratic behavior caused many problems between the two. It did, however, lead to a minor hit for The Dandy Warhols, who recorded a massive-budget music video with celebrity photographer David LaChapelle.

Though the Dandys have now moved on to a new label (World’s Fair), a great deal of the band’s past exists during their time with Capitol. This album provides a great introduction to the Dandy Warhols, and is ideal for anyone new to the band.

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About Julie Kocsis

Julie Kocsis is Associate Editor and a contributing writer of ShortAndSweetNYC.com. Living in Brooklyn, she works for Penguin Random House during the day and writes about rock bands at night. In addition to her many band interviews as well as album and concert reviews that have been published on ShortAndSweetNYC.com, she has also been published on The Huffington Post, Brooklyn Exposed and the Brooklyn Rail.
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