Album Mini-review: Dandy Warhols — Distortland
File next to: Stone Roses, The Church, Brainticket
On the Dandy Warhols‘ tenth studio album, the group engages in truth in labeling. Distortion is indeed at the heart of the dance-oriented, deep groove tracks. Throbbing synthesizer lines and fuzzed-out guitars are at the center of the album’s decidedly trancey aesthetic. Many of the tunes are built around a simple, hypnotic musical phrases that owe a clear debt to 1970s krautrock. The group often does a lot with a little: several tracks are one-chord jams. Twangy, surf ‘n’ spy guitar is a key component of Distortland; throughout, Courtney Taylor-Taylor‘s voice is breathy as ever. On “Search Party,” banjos pluck along comfortably alongside synthesizer stabs that recall nothing so much as “(Gonna Make You Sweat) Everybody Dance Now.” The Dandys channel T. Rex on “Catcher in the Rye,” and “You Are Killing Me” leans in a melodic, alternarock direction.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4000-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he is co-teaching a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: 40 Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.