Idle here, the first time I heard of the Dopamines was a few years back when I went to see the Queers in Covington. I hadn't really been to many shows before this show, and this was my first pop punk show and really this show is what got me into the genre as much as I am now. I was really into ska at the time, and Streetlight Manifesto was almost all that mattered to me, other than Descendents and The Queers. But, at the time, I really thought of Descendents and the like to just be punk bands, I never really even considered them as pop punk yet. Pop punk to me was radio-friendly stuff like Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance...I was very new to this subgenre of punk at this time.
If I'm remembering correctly, the Dopamines were the second band to play at that show (the first being some AFI soundalike fatdude band and the band after them being some creepy metalrock stuff). Other than the Queers, this was the only band I was standing up front for. They were fucking awesome. I immediately liked them a lot, and I knew I was looking them up when I got home. They just stood up there with stage banter involving jokes about signing to Fueled By Ramen and how if you don't love Bruce Sprinsteen you're an asshole. Let's fastforward through the couple years of me loving this band and going to see them quite a few times, and we'll just get started on reviewing this record.
Expect the Worst
Is it ironic that I expected the best out of this album? I don't know, I don't feel like being the type of person who misuses irony, so fuck it. The point is, I had high hopes for this album and I was biting my nails waiting for this fucker to come out. I remember when it leaked online and I downloaded it immediately. I then listened to it like 50 times in a row, I'm sure. I was sending the download to like everyone I know, and telling them how awesome it was and everything. Expect the Worst is one of my favorite pop-punk albums now, and if you're into The Dopamines or the pop-punk genre, you'll probably have a warm place in your heart for this record.
Expect the Worst brings to the audience more songs about drinking beer, feeling like shit about shit, and drinking more beer. Some of the songs on this record really summed up my life at the time. The day I got fired from the barcade I worked at, and proceeded to smoke weed and get drunk, I found it completely necessary to play Cincinnati Harmony on repeat for a few days...I mean, I had booze on my breath and holes in my shoes too! Songs like Cincinnati Harmony and Dick Simmons can really be empowering for someone who is going through shit and is tired of how everyone just wants to compare how awesome their life is to yours. A lot of the songs on the album have this kind of theme going on with it. As well as of course the theme of drinking beer, which is addressed in songs like Waking Up in the Monroe House With Cat Hair In My Mouth and The Glendora House...and THANKYOUVERYMUCH and My Future's So Bright, I Gotta wear Night Vision Goggles. I mean, it IS the Dopamines...a lot of songs will be partially about drinking.
The songs on this album are pretty much all perfect singalongs...there's no a single song I dislike and I think you'll feel the same way about it as I do. I'm pretty sure The Bear is one of the top listeners of theirs on last.fm. She's a fangirl dork, though, so it's to be expected. The final track on this pop-punk splendor is a song about how awesome Jon Lewis's parents are for dealing with their too-cool son and him drinking their booze, taking their pills, and pissing in their sink. It's a pretty endearing song and he dedicated it to his parents (who were in the audience) at their CD release show for this album. I think the band might've been too drunk to remember this night at all, though. Happens.
Anyway, you can buy this album over at Paper + Plastick (if it's ever restocked), or get it from them at one of their awesome shows and rejoice and such and such and such. 5/5 or whatever.