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Dangerous Dreams

Moving Units
Dangerous Dreams
(Palm Pictures)

I have to admit that I was definitely intrigued by the self-titled debut from Moving Units. Released last year, it featured 4 tracks that banged around with wild abandon and mixed a touch of the dance-punk and a touch of the slick rock that made The Strokes such a big name with their first couple records. Unfortunately, the group took the somewhat dry and lean sound of their debut EP and not only glossed it up but dropped some more of the rock and slithered a bit more towards dance-rock.

Now, I don't really have anything against the genre in general, but one look at the oh-so-80s cover-art of Dangerous Dreams should give you some idea about the end product. "Emancipation" opens the disc and while the music itself is somewhat passable, the howled (and overly histronic) vocals of "I am your slave" just seem tired set alongside the synth handclaps and alternately drum machine/real drummer beats. Lyrically, "Submission" makes sure that the masochism side of things is covered as well, and the instrumental backing sounds like Duran Duran trying to cover a track from a 70s soundtrack by Isaac Hayes.

Having said the above, the album does have its fair share of pretty darn good tracks. "Between Us & Them" is a blistering rock track with a hyper-rhythm track that slaps around the first half of the album beautifully while "Birds Of Prey" layers multiple guitar riffs for great effect over an infectious beat that would probably lull in fans of Franz Ferdinand easily enough. On "Scars," the group even slows things down and gets so damn moody that they sound like they're channeling Interpol for almost 6 minutes. In the end, Dangerous Dreams is just such a mixed-bag of goods that it's hard to feel much about it other than a couple of standouts. In some ways, it sounds like the group wrote an album full of tracks that mimic the sounds of some of the hotter bands of the past couple years (namely the aforementioned) and in doing so seemed to lose track of what they pulled-off on their debut EP in only 4 tracks and 12 minutes.

Rating: 5.5