The Dandy Warhols have a new album out, …Earth To The Dandy Warhols… . It’s one of their strongest albums, and the first three tracks, The World, The People Together (Come On), Mission Control and Welcome To The Third World, is definitely the strongest 1-2-3 punch opener they’ve had so far.
There’s all the usual stuff you’d expect from the Dandys – a few tight pop songs (Do You Love Me and Welcome to the Third World are two of their best), the obvious first single (which is Mission Control this time around, but it’s actually really good, instead of merely average like most of their singles) a little bit of bar-room stomping (The Legend of The Last of the Outlaw Truckers AKA the Ballad of Sheriff Shorty), and yet another wandering nowhere track at the end, this time being Musee D’Nougat, in which the history of nougat is discussed in a French accent for fourteen minutes. It’s close to being my favourite of all the Dandy Warhols albums, but I still say that Welcome To The Monkey House is their best.
As their contract with Capitol Records has ended, they’ve released it under their own label, Beat The World, and have taken the same digital download route as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have.
The difference is that the Dandys have created a subscription model. For US$34 (roughly AU$37), not only do you get a high-quality (320 kbps) digital copy, available as soon as you’ve paid, the CD a week earlier than official release in stores, 10% off merchandise from their online store, a limited edition poster and the chance to win a guitar pedal, but you also get access to a year of b-sides, live recordings and videos. I think that’s pretty good value. Especially as you get to listen to the album well before its mid-July release date.
And then there’s the option offered to us Australians (New Zealanders as well but really, who cares about them?). Rather than Beat The World, the album is being released under Etch N Sketch Records. Instead of getting the one nice big package offered to the rest of the world, we get two options: pre-order the CD, and pre-order the download.
Pre-ordering the CD is done through JB HiFi. It’s $18.99, and you still get the year of downloads, but instead of getting the poster, you get an iron-on transfer “to make your own funky Dandys shirt”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who’s ever made a good shirt with iron-on transfers, or even used them at all. I got one with The Polyphonic Spree’s The Fragile Army last year, but that’s still sitting in my drawer. Anyway, it’s only available from JB HiFi online.
As for the download, you don’t get it now, oh no. You get it in the first week of June. I really don’t understand why it’s not being offered now, seeing as the download pre-order seems to be being handled on the official website. What is stopping them from selling it now? It seems a little pointless, to be honest. And seeing as it’s separate from the CD offer, I assume that the download will have to be purchased as well.
If the download is around $16, as most album downloads seem to be priced in Australia, that would mean that to get the (available June) download, CD and iron-on transfer, it would work out to about $35. I think that the US option, which is $37 for the (immediate availability) download, CD, poster and store discount, is much better value.