Pop artist Andy Warhol's commercial success was symbolized by his studio, the Factory, which also served as the locus of a particular subculture of artists, musicians and a general assortment of social misfits drawn into Warhol's orbit by the gravity of his appeal. Similarly, when Warhol namesake the Dandy Warhols achieved their initial commercial success on the back of European sales and song licensing, they purchased part of a city block in their hometown, Portland, Oregon, and called it the Odditorium, to serve as recording and film studios and the cradle of a scene.
The rich sonic aesthetic of the Dandies' music is marked by strong melodies and time-traveling guitar riffs visiting from decades past, and it persists across the band's albums of guitar-based rock, their digressions into synth-pop and their live performances. Informed by a Northwestern flavor of hipster detachment and strongly influenced by bands like the Velvet Underground, the lyrics of front-man Courtney Taylor-Taylor are razor-sharp and ironically aloof, funny and referential. Their newest album, Earth to the Dandy Warhols, introduces itself via a distorted collage of Cape Canaveral radio chatter and supersonic jet engines, then launches into the band's characteristic pop groove of velvety sonic layering and unexpected chord changes. This one-time next-big-thing is like an unexploded WWII ordnance: still dangerous, still likely to explode.