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The Dandy Warhols' 'Why You So Crazy' would be best listened to while smoking a joint

It's a return to form from the Portland rock group.

At worst, The Dandy Warhols music is smothered beneath layers of intricate post-anti-pseudo-retro-kitsch irony, like a Rothko print displayed in an elaborate baroque frame. Why You So Crazy retains a love of spacey psych-rock and cheeky weirdness, but unburdens the Portland foursome of the inscrutable gimmickry that turned critics against ...Earth to the Dandy Warhols… and other latter-day releases.

Across its brief 40-minute runtime, Why You So Crazy unfurls a strange garden of sounds, namely burbling, multilayered riffs that evoke the vacant enjoyment of a partygoer who’s too out of it to do anything but sit back and watch. Frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor recommended that even straight-edge listeners light up a joint to enjoy the album properly. The hypnotic burbling of tracks like ‘To The Church’ don’t induce the listener to dance so much as to reel around, possibly drooling, and ‘High Life’ – which pairs boogie-woogie hooks with chimpunkish vocals – is unlikely to reveal its charms to the sober.

The jewel of the album is undoubtedly ‘Be Alright’. Its contagious, droning riff is pure and classic Dandys – proof that the band’s raw talent remains undimmed. For listeners who tuned out after the band’s mid-2000s turn to the abstruse, this album may be the perfect time to jump back in.

8.0