Published Nov 07, 2014Sometimes a band produces their most innovative music by doing something simple really well. That's the case with Dream Police, whose Hypnotized is a template for perfectly executed post-punk minimalism. The side project of Nick Chiericozzi and Mark Perro of Brooklyn-based punk band the Men, Dream Police take an expert background in far noisier music and strip it down to its bones, offering something that is simultaneously intense and easy on the ears.
The album's opening track, "Hypnotized," starts with heavily distorted tremolo guitar and analogue keyboards, creating tension that doesn't explode later in the song but is released gradually across the next 40 minutes. Where we're expecting a searing rock riff, we get a restrained beat that's almost danceable. There's more than a little Neu! influence on this record, and at times it sounds like what would happen if ZZ Top had moved to Germany in the 1970s and became Krautrock stars.
Hypnotized reaches its peak on the instrumental track, "Let It Be," which sees Chiericozzi and Perro loosen up and jam subtly around a minimal but strong theme. It almost sounds like Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" reimagined as a prog-rock song. That type of genre-bending free play is prevalent across the album, and half of the reason why it's such a thrilling listen. The other half? Chiericozzi and Perro simply know how to write a riff (Sacred Bones)