The Dopamines - Expect the Worst (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Dopamines

Expect the Worst (2010)

Paper and Plastick

So, can we truly "expect the worst" when it comes to Cincinnati, Ohio's Dopamines? Perhaps not, but what we CAN expect is a catchy good time that's philistine and sardonic without giving a crap and endlessly catchy in the way we expect the best pop-punk to be.

The three-piece (occasionally a quartet whenever Mikey Erg can be torn away from his 50 other bands) sound tight throughout Expect the Worst, calling to mind contemporaries like Dear Landlord and the Copyrights. "Public Domain" and its soaring chorus, with emphatic "whoa"s as its focal point, is a definite highlight and always a fun track to hear live. "Cincinnati Harmony" decreases the tempo but increases the abrasiveness, as Jon Lewis and Jon Wiener implore their less-than-savory compatriots to just leave them alone, for Christ's sake.

"Dick Simmons" continues our misanthropic journey with these lads, and to be frank, hatred has never sounded so catchy, and hey, the Futurama sample is a nice touch. The Copyrights' influence is never as prevalent than on "Monroe", the song possessing a cadence not unlike that of something one might hear from Make Sound or Learn the Hard Way.

"Thankyouverymuch" is more of the same, but not in a way that's too, well, samey. Which can be said for the whole of Expect the Worst, really. The Dopamines have a formula that's tried and true, and they're putting it to better use than most.