Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Jul 3rd, 2017

Dreamcar: Dreamcar

(Columbia Records)

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God, I love the music of the ’80s, especially those surrounding New Wave with cheap, plastic beats, catchy, campy, reverb-heavy songs to dance to. I have found myself numerous times screaming A-ha’s classic “Take on Me” trying to hit that high note in the chorus, but realizing my voice is shot and instead scratching my vocal chords like someone squeezing a cat.

Anything by Tears For Fears, The Cure, Human League, Level 42, fucking Spandau Ballet, dude, all of it, top notch. And I think others might like it too because there are an awful lot of bands in the past decade that are trying to sound like The Smiths.

Dreamcar, are not one of those bands, but they are certainly bringing an ’80s vibe to the table. With “the other three,” but no less valuable members of No Doubt, and Davey Havok from AFI, Dreamcar has the pedigree and veteran respect to at least try not to sound overly pretentious. The ingredients are there for sublime retro goodness, but their debut record, Dreamcar falls a little short, but not for lack of trying.

I just can’t get past Havok’s voice. I mean, it’s good, but not what was needed to fulfill the glossy, hairspray, rancor of the dream. And maybe that is not what they intended, but that was what I wanted dammit. Dreamcar, while decent, doesn’t get in the groove.

The album starts strong with the pounding “After I Confessed.” “Kill For Candy” begins as if it could be a B-side on The Cure’s classic Boys Don’t Cry with a wonderfully, hook-laden chorus. “All the Dead Girls Love Me” pays homage to Adam Ant with a tribal tom-tom dance, but the rest of the album makes good for background music. Again, like Communism and theoretical physics, looks good on paper, not so much in practice.

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Dreamcar: Dreamcar