by M.V. Essick –
2005 was a year where humanity thought that wearing bedazzled hoodies and “juicy” bottoms was a good idea. Then again, I really can’t really talk too much because I thought that wearing over-sized Anime T-shirts from the clearance rack at Hot Topic was a good idea.
Thankfully, not everything that came out of 2005 was terrible. Case in point—when I was 15, I accidentally stumbled across an indie band from Portland whilst I was up late one night typing away on my computer.
I was stuck on a paragraph when suddenly my ears honed in on a catchy riff that was reverberating through my low-quality speakers. I couldn’t turn the volume up any louder (it would have woken up my parents you see) so I could only catch little blips here and there. Something about people going insane? Seeing that this was a time before song-identifier apps like Shazam, I had to pull up my browser and manually search for the song. Finally after a good 20 minutes of Googling, I stumbled across the lyrics: “Everyone is Insane” by The Dandy Warhols from their album Odditorium or Warlords of Mars. It was something different than the usual Evanescence or Good Charlotte type of punk stuff that I heard play on the radio ad naseum.
I dug it.
Odditorium or Warlords of Mars starts out with a funny introduction in the opening track “Colder Than the Coldest Winter Was Cold” where the narrator sounds like from he’s lifestyles of the rich and famous giving a brief “history” of the band. “Love Is the New Feel Awful” and “Easy” start off the album with a calm but nicely psychedelic vibe.
“All the Money or the Simple Life Honey” suddenly shifts the album into top gear, and it sets the pace for Odditorium. The tempos become more upbeat. It becomes no secret why some of the Dandy’s best songs are here: “Everyone Is Totally Insane”, “Smoke It”. They all have a unique fun danceable vibe to them–not over the top–but you know, very chill. “There Is Only This Time” and “A Lone Tonight”, are the closing tracks and take the listener back down from the happy vibe only to mellow out once more.
Eleven years later and The Dandy Warhols are still thankfully making music. Not only have they gone from a small band from Portland to a huge mainstream rock group, but they have become the quintessential indie band. After ruminating about it for a while, I would like to think of Odditorium or Warlords of Mars is to The Dandy Warhols is what the Pieta is to Michelangelo—something people think is underwhelming at first, but then they slowly realize that it’s grandeur once you experience it for yourself.