Audio Mixers: Kyle Keays-Hagerman; Jonathan Schesske.
Recording information: 2014.
Photographer: Kevin Faulkner.
Stylistically far from the boozy, punk-addled, Clash-inspired pub rock of their meal ticket band's Petty, Seger, and Springsteen-adoring fifth studio album Tomorrow's Hits, the first outing from the Men's Nick Chiericozzi and Mark Perro under the Dream Police sobriquet retains the kinetic, full-frontal sonic assault that's come to define the shifty, Brooklyn-based unit, but replaces the bar band setup (guitar, bass, and drums) with driving, Krautrock-inspired electronics, resulting in something that sounds akin to darkwave with all of the lights on. Hypnotized has more in common with the band's Cheap Trick-inspired moniker than one might suspect, as bubbling beneath its gritty, decidedly lo-fi/new wave revival exterior, which has a lot in common with Tubeway Army, super-early Cure, and even earlier Sisters of Mercy, there lies a foundation of pure, fist-pumping, confectionary pop (think Psychocandy-era Jesus and Mary Chain with a touch of Spacemen 3 psych rock and Joy Division bleakness tossed in for good measure). The title cut, which also serves as the first single and opening track, wastes little time getting to the heart of the matter, offering up a sinewy and propulsive road rager of an electropop anthem that's as sonically vital as it is emotionally nihilistic -- imagine the Modern Lovers' "Roadrunner" being run through an old solid-state amplifier with the distortion cranked all the way up. "My Mama's Dead" follows a similar trajectory, but things shift stylistically soon after, devolving into icy blasts of shimmery goth pop ("Iris"), anthemic space rock ("All We Are"), and even Cramps-inspired, juke joint tomfoolery ("John"), resulting in a fascinating if not entirely comprehensive set of oddball, largely homespun-sounding sonic emissions that feel a little half-baked, but still awfully tasty. ~ James Christopher Monger
Pitchfork (Website) - "The spectrum here spans Teutonic post-punk to somber psych-folk..."