Expect the worst. Nothing has ever happened in your time on this planet that makes any other philosophy hold water. People all over the world have different coping mechanisms against the existential crush. Some find religion, some find suicide, some start a shitty pop punk band and tear through their years in an inebriated rage of blind partying.
The Dopamines have a reputation of being a “party band,” but Vices is no party. It's a hard pill to swallow, and not the fun kind that leaves you falling down the stairs. If Expect The Worst was the raging party last night, this record is the long, hard look in the mirror the morning after. This time around, The Dopamines are dealing with the shit they got fucked up to forget about. And the list of shit to get fucked up to forget about flows longer than the Ohio River.
Yet, somehow, the record doesn't sound dark. It's full of catchy tunes, and only when you get them in your head and start singing along do the pieces all start to come together. This record is a paradox, and a damn catchy one. Hooks reveal themselves to be full of terrible thoughts, inescapable and growing louder. Herein lies the real trick to Vices, what really sets The Dopamines apart from their peers. They make the darkness sound appealing by sweeping it under a rug of harmonies and melodies. And by the time you know the record's secrets, you can't walk away from it.
Everything on Vices works together so well. It amazes me how a group of dudes with so little going for them can make a record with so much going for it. And before you know it, it's over. You start it up again, catching a buzz during your first listen. By the end of the second, you're wasted, pants around your ankles, pop punk perfection blasting out of your stereo, completely unaware that this might actually not be an appropriate group of songs to party to. But who cares? Life is shit.
So, we expect the worst, because it's all we have experience dealing with. It's all we know, it's all we have, it's what we are. But whether slowly through the years or quickly with a handful of pills, we have an awesome new record to jam while we kill ourselves.