Starting a band when you make some kind of living as a music critic seems like the ultimate in risky career moves, but mostly, it's only a bad idea if you suck. Mr. Dream, who we avoided listening to for a long time out of fear, has nothing to worry about in this regard: drummer Nick Sylvester (a sheister who we've broken bread with), Adam Moerder (who evidently writes for Pitchfork), and apparent commoner Matt Morello are a powerful trio, channeling punk drive and Pixies-conjuring guitar blasts into anxiety-laden anthems. "Scarred for Life" sounds like post-traumatic stress disorder, an antidote to the pulseless navel-gazing of certain lo-fi softies of late. But then, it also sounds like Morello is singing about witnessing someone get blasted by a subway train (the ultimate New York nightmare) and also some chick with no face.
June 17, 2010