No Doubt alumni have joined forces with singer Davey Havok of AFI to form Dreamcar, and it’s on to becoming the next 21st century new wave super-group. The band brings some of No Doubt’s cheeky funk and ’80s nostalgia as well as a mutual love of The Cure shared with Havok. (Photo submitted)

No Doubt alumni have joined forces with singer Davey Havok of AFI to form Dreamcar, and it’s on to becoming the next 21st century new wave super-group. The band brings some of No Doubt’s cheeky funk and ’80s nostalgia as well as a mutual love of The Cure shared with Havok. (Photo submitted)

Ambitious new drop

A band born from the ashes of No Doubt, Dreamcar has ambition written all over their sound

A band born from the ashes of ‘90s supergroup No Doubt, Dreamcar has ambition written all over their sound.

The alumni (Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont, and Adrian Young) have joined forces with singer Davey Havok of AFI. And it’s on to becoming the next 21st century new wave super-group. The band brings some of No Doubt’s cheeky funk and ’80s nostalgia as well as a mutual love of The Cure shared with Havok.

After I Confess and Kill for Candy also has British new wave all over it, and Dreamcar takes that vibe to the max. The group’s pedigree reaches back to the California East Bay hardcore scene where punk and U.K. new wave sounds reigned supreme.

The pairing of Havok with the No Doubt alumni pays off in polished sound. Songs like The Assailant display the group’s ease with atmospheric use of effects and arrangement and Havok’s pseudo-epic operatic vocal performance. All members are workaholic musicians and their record has a lived-in feel, almost like they’ve been together for years, because, well, some of them have.

To their credit, the group doesn’t lean on sonic trademarks of past successes. Dreamcar is all about the new but the music and production reveals it to be about playing stadiums and big shows.

Havok’s front-man skills are well honed and he can pull out the Valhalla voice when needed (Show Me Mercy). The team of Kanal, Dumont, and Young have a smart, well-oiled rapport that translates into wide impressive sounds. The group’s songwriting facility sounds natural and at times evocative (Born to Lie). They sound big and shiny, but they’re musicians with credibility.

Dean Gordon-Smith is a Vernon-based musician who reviews the latest music releases in his column, Street Sounds, every Friday.