Apparently writing jingles for car commercials in LA wasn’t cutting it for Ryan Merchant and …
Side projects of bands that are already successful can be interesting specimens. Often overshadowed by their main venture, they sometimes have the capacity to blow the original act out of the water. And other times they just straight up blow. Dream Police, a darker and more experimental side project of Brooklyn’s The Men, falls somewhere closer to the former side of that spectrum.
Self described as “future primitive psychedelia with glimmering electronics,” Dream Police consists of The Men’s core members Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi along with the collaboration of Kyle Keays-Hagerman. Dating back to 2010, the project originated as an outlet for spill-over material that did not make it onto The Men’s recordings. But the full manifestation of Dream Police was a slow one, with only a self-released two-song cassette and live recording in their first three years. Then in 2013, after returning from a five-month tour as The Men, Dream Police rallied off of the creative momentum from tour and put together their debut full length LP, Hypnotized, out on Sacred Bones.
While still holding onto some of the punk-meets-country-meets-Bruce-Springstein feel of The Men’s recordings, Hypnotized showcases a heavier dosage of psych warbling and proggy grooves. The album features a healthy combination of acoustic and electronic drums, with both approaches arriving at similarly pleasant ends. Reminiscent of everything awesome about ’80s aerobicise videos minus the sexy ladies, lead single “Pouring Rain” is an upbeat and dancy number that rides an electronic beat layered in synth. “My Mama’s Dead” boasts a driving, fuzzed out rhythm section that carries the song, accented by blown-out vocals and the occasional alien ray gun guitar squeal.
Currently in the middle of their first full-fledged national tour as Dream Police, catch them live at Holocene on December 10 before they get caught back up in their more full-time band and don’t resurface for another year. »
– Travis Leipzig