The Dopamines - Expect the Worst (Cover Artwork)

The Dopamines

Expect the Worst (2010)

Paper and Plastick

We are now in a post-"Ben Weasel hits chicks" world. What does this mean for a band like the Dopamines who definitely fit into a genre that has some strong relation to Screeching Weasel? I mean, I'm the guy that writes reviews of hardcore bands that none of you listen to, but I know there is some degree of lineage here between Cincinnati's drunk-pop-punk heroes and that woman-beater, Ben Weasel.

So in this brave new world where we know the true character of the aforesaid Mr. Weasel, what does that say about the Dopamines? Is Expect the Worst really a secretive manifesto against the safety of women? Or is it just a collection of really great pop-punk songs that are actually way more creative and well-performed than anything Screeching Weasel ever put out? I'd put my chips on the latter.

While there is only one SW song I really love, "Cool Kids", there are some solid bangers on this release, especially "Public Domain", the track that features Mikey Erg (who would never hit a woman, just write a painfully catchy song about one) in the video. The lyrics in that track showcase some clever wordplay: "Everybody's got a master's degree in telecommunicationary tactic. With a minor in therapy, a mix when injected produces an asshole." I wish I was that skilled with the written word, but it's a club that I'm not part of.

That said, there a lot of songs about drinking on here. And not the fun in a group type of drinking, but the "my life sucks" and I'm drinking too much. Listening to this too much is like eating a bunch of pretzels. And these pretzels are making me thirsty.

In conclusion, this is a fun record that hits like a punch to the kidney.