Rockmaker by The Dandy Warhols album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions. The Portland bands is now out via Sunset Blvd Records



The Dandy Warhols

The new Dandy Warhols’ record sounds like the 90’s, because, hey, they’ve been doing it since the 90’s. Featuring such heavy hitters as Black Francis, Slash, and Debbie Harry, all 90’s rockers, still doing it today, it is an album that is grungy, hip, and unapologetic. Like the first song, “Doomsday Bells,” with it’s riff-heavy fuzzed out guitar, the album deals with the charade of being alive, the stupidity of the world, and the dire need for self-compassion.

Initially formed in Portland, Oregon in the mid-90’s because they “needed music to drink to,” there is a fair share of reference to drugs and getting high, like the humorous 60’s and 70’s-referencing “Alcohol and Cocainemarijuananicotine.” The feel of the album is like a bit of time capsule, including past decades up until the present, where rock bands like themselves are singing songs about the current climate crisis. “Sea level is getting higher / The polar bears are getting tired / They need to get / more wired / it’s dire.”

There is a sort of hip-hop, spoken word feel to much of the album, though the real highlight of the album are the unique alternative rock riffs. It makes Slash’s presence on the album not at all out of place. They named it Rockmaker for a reason. They are above all a rock band, and it’s good to hear why they started making music, because I wondered in listening, who their audience would really be. Playing bars and beyond for many years, this is “mood music” of the rock persuasion, to grab a drink and move your body.

They riff on religious themes on the album, like the songs “The Cross,” “Love Thyself,” and “Root Of All Evil,” but never as you’d expect, dealing on “The Cross” with finally putting down your cross, instead of picking it up, celebrating breaking up with someone instead of committing to them on “Love Thyself,” and how desire, not money, is the “Root Of All Evil.” They’ve been around the block more than a few times, and know how to get their audience out of their seats, enjoying the thrill of good, solid alternative rock music. If you want a good shot of adrenaline, with lyrics that are always thoughtful and humorous, give this album a spin.

Order Rockmaker by The Dandy Warhols HERE


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