The sheer numbers of the Dandy Warhols' 25 years of existence are staggering.
Over the course of 10 studio albums, two compilation albums, six EPs, 28 singles and one infamously drug- and drama-drenched documentary (2004's Dig!), the Dandys have carved out a hard-won, hedonistic reputation with their catchy odes to bohemian life, a life they have at times pushed to the hilt. So it's quite a feat that frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor, guitarist Peter Holmström, keyboardist Zia McCabe and drummer Brent DeBoer have been together for nearly the entirety of the Dandys' run.
This week, the band celebrates their silver anniversary with the release of Why You So Crazy?, a free-wheeling jaunt through the band's disparate influences and talents that feels like a victory lap in a sense—but not necessarily in a bad way.
One of the Dandys' core strengths has always been their ability to churn out slightly aslant power-pop earworms, and with lead single "Be Alright," they've landed yet another one. Beyond its catchiness, the buzzing tune is a representation of where the Dandys are at a robust 25 years of age—famous, with abundant resources at their command. "Be Alright" came with an accompanying short film directed by Taylor-Taylor, starring actress Jessica Paré of Mad Men fame, written and conceived by Kevin Moyer (known for working on projects by Portugal the Man, Modest Mouse and Elliott Smith) and filmed in the band's sprawling Northwest Portland art space the Odditorium.
That sort of grandiosity and confidence permeates the whole of Why You So Crazy? The Dandys are, and have always been, a throwback to the golden age of rock stardom. That's not changed here, and songs like "Small Town Girls" and "Sins Are Forgiven," the latter of which has Taylor-Taylor sing from the point of view of Jesus on the cross, find the frontman exuding the almost bored-sounding, elegantly wasted confidence that's served him so well.
Another of the band's defining facets is their willingness to try new and disparate musical forms, and over the course of their latest effort, this shines through once again. "Motor City Steel" and the McCabe-led "Highlife" are rollicking country-inflected numbers, whereas "To the Church," "Terraform" and "Forever" explore the band's shadowy, almost unhinged side.
Why You So Crazy? makes it seem the band could keep churning out records like this for 25 more years—and if you've been down with the Dandys' long, strange trip, that's probably welcome news. If Taylor-Taylor and company's pomp and circumstance turned you off long ago, this record won't convert you. Either way, after a quarter century, the Dandy Warhols ain't changing for anyone.
SEE IT: The Dandy Warhols' Why You So Crazy? is out Friday, Jan. 25, on Dine Alone Records.