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Dandy Warhols

Welcome to the Monkey House

Release Date: 05.19.03 UK / 08.05.03 US
Record label: Mute
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.


Not All Monkey Business
by: peter naldrett - uk correspondent

The Dandy Warhols need not worry about selling out to commercialism if they run upon hard times. They have already done it! The band from Portland, Oregon, made a packet from a mobile phone company when "Bohemian Like You" was chosen to push the telecom industry. Such media attention ensured their last album, Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia, was a 225,000-selling success one year after its' original release. It deserved to be in CD players across the country without corporate backing, and make no mistake that this should be the case with Welcome To The Monkey House, out on May 19.

Skillfully crafted in their own free-flowing way, the 13 tracks roll into each other effortlessl, surprising when you think of the musical diversity on show. But the guitars are toned down a little and replaced by electronica as childhood heroes Duran Duran get in on the act. Welcome To The Monkey House! The short titular opener breaks into the new single, "We Used To Be Friends", a song intent on sticking in your head and raising the curtain on a wonderfully addictive album. The Warhols specialise in anthemic gems based around cool guitar pop-rock and the incredibly wide-ranging vocals of frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor. Nowhere is this more evident than in the lovely "Plan A", with Simon Le Bon adding backing vocals, and "You Were The Last High", which is the best track on the new CD despite sounding a little like Prefab Sprout.

Elsewhere on Welcome To The Monkey House, songs like "I Am A Scientist", "I Am Over It", "The Dope" and "Heavenly" provide solid backing to these three obvious single releases. It's a tightly constructed and very strong follow-up album to what has already become an early 21st Century classic, and Welcome To The Monkey House will scratch “The Warhols” onto the musical map.

The Warhols, except when helping to sell consumer durables, are not primarily a singles band, instead spending their time honing the full package of an album. Welcome To The Monkey House, named after a 1968 collection of short stories, is a finished package. It was three years in the making, benefits from the band's earlier experiences and builds on the promise of Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia. It misses out on nothing at all, so make sure you don't miss out on it either. A corking collection of laid-back, soft pop-rock.