DREAMCAR - DREAMCAR
Honestly, when i heard that members of No Doubt and Davey Havok from AFI were teaming up for a new record I did not know what to think. I used to love AFI but their offerings of late have been watered down at best and No Doubt's best days seem to be very far behind them. So instead of banking on some old fans and just shifting into constant reunion mode the boys have struck out on their own. The music is heavy for No Doubt and extremely poppy for AFI which misses on both levels. DREAMCAR is almost straight 80s rip off evoking the sounds of Duran Duran and early The Cure. Havok makes sure the music is just moody enough to not be aggressive ever, but still not all that pleased with any situation. You just never know with Davey Havok what version you are going to get as He has reinvented himself a million times with new band after new band. What is the most frustrating about this record however is hard it is trying to be derivative. Even the aesthetics of the band are sunabassedly New Wave with Havok sporting a pencil thin mustache and the No Doubt boys dressing up in shiny tuxedos. This would all be fine if the music held up but it just doesn't. "On The Charts" spoken word section is so laughably bad that you cannot help be sucked right out of any rhythm you may have gotten in as Havok kind of raps: "A lolipop, too sweet, too sweet/ For better tongues resistant". You are left just scratching your head.
It could be the former AFI and No Doubt fan in me that has so much issue with this record. It just falls so short of the really high standards both bands have set even with some of their more recent flops. Havok has already become really theatrical with his delivery, even in AFI, lately and "The Assailant" verges almost on musical theatre at times, in a bad way. "Slip On The Moon" is a rare bright spot because it feels the most original of the track here. "Don't Let Me Love" also works, it feels more like what an AFI and No Doubt combo would sound like rather than just something trying to evoke a certain period of time. The bop on "Don't Let Me Love" really is the first time where you can find yourself moving to the music. Unfortunately this sentiment is fleeting and Dreamcare really can't string together something to really keep you interested the whole time. There are a few good ideas on this debut, but almost none of them really pay off. Knowing Davey Havok He will be over this band in a few weeks and back on to something else but DREAMCAR really misses the mark.
4.1 out of 10