On July 14th, 1789, the French peoples led a revolt against the crown, marking their own Independance Day in July, for their nation. In France, it is called Fête Nationale (“National Celebration”). The story goes that the Bastille fortress was stormed in response to several authoritarian measures being enforced by the Royal family and their guard, including lettres de cachet, which were arbitrary indictments brought forth by the nobles which could not be appealed. The Bastille was known for housing political prisoners whose writings had displeased the royal government, and was icon of the type of government the Monarchy had evolved into. In a somewhat ironic twist, at the time of the siege there were only seven inmates, none of great political significance.
So now the date will also mark the continued revolution by Portland’s Dandy Warhols versus their former label Capitol Records (note the scratched out Capitol Records logo on the disc). This time around, we are treated to the band’s original mixes to their album ‘Welcome to the Monkey House’ (WTTMH), released under the alternate name “…Are Sound”. Advance screening of the album provide some quick details on the upcoming release, though I’ll leave the majority of the changes for you to discover.
Absent from these mixes are the original title track ‘Welcome to the Monkey House’, but in its place is ‘Pete International Spaceport’, and eclectic mix of guitarist Peter Holmstrom’s guitar effects and work with the synthesizer. Much improved is the already fantastic song ‘I Am Over It’, which features an extended acoustic guitar portion laid over some of what an experienced WTTMH listener would recognized. Fan (and TV world favorite) ‘We Used to Be Friends’ is more of an unpolished gem that a dear favorite indie band would produce rather than the super-radio slicked version on WTTMH.
‘Welcome to the Monkey House’ was probably the most 80’s sound influenced album that The Dandy Warhols have released to date, likely brought on their appreciation of the timeframes icons such as Love and Rockets, Depeche Mode, and Bauhaus. Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran had his fingers on the production of the original disc, and perhaps that lent some strong influences from the timeframe as well. Those 80s under currents have been muted, though not abandoned in the “…Are Sound” version. Instead, “…Are Sound” blends more with the Dandy’s catalogue, both pre and post WTTMH, than the original does.
Are Sound will be available on the 14th at the Dandy Warhols website. They provide far better quality sound files than you recieve from iTunes or Amazon, and it is actually cheaper if you purchase direct from the artist as well.
If you are interested in NW based indie rock, I would suggest each of the following links for checking out The Dandy’s and a few of the bands they have on their label, Beat the World Records.