DOPE


"No Regrets" (Koch Records; 2009)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This CD is well worth the four year wait. I cue up Dope when I want to demolish a bad day and this disc quickly delivered me. The industrial metal sound on this album is right up in your face and Edsel and company throw a bunch of stuff in to make this a unique track list. Zakk Wylde helps out with some upper cut guitar on the third track titled, "Addiction."

Depending upon the pressing you get, you could have a disc with twenty songs on it. A couple of them are covers: "Rebel Yell" by Billy Idol (and I think that Edsel sneers on this one more than the "Rude Dude" did back when it was first released) and another cover is "High" by Jimmie's Chicken Shack (I always did love that song). Jimi Haha of Jimmie's Chicken Shack is also featured on one of Dope's bonus tracks. There are some remixes too. One is on the standard offering and the others are on the bonus track listing.

The guitar is brutal and the solos pinch more than a ticked-off praying mantis. The drums pound and Edsel is full of lava and he blows his top on every song except for the odd but effective intro, "Flatline," that starts off the disc. A couple of interludes are sprinkled within and even though they clock in at .08 and .10 seconds it's just enough time for you to catch your breath for the rest of the rumble.

Dope: Edsel Dope, Virus, Tripp Tribbett and Angel.

For more information, check out http://www.dopearmy.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/Dope.


"American Apathy" (Artemis; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"American Apathy" is Dope's best CD to date and that probably has as much to do with the band's passion about the subjects raised in their lyrics as it does with their new found ferocity. 

"American Apathy" is at its best when it's angry (on tracks like "I'm Back," "Another Four Years" and "Revolution") but it also relishes in racy subject matter that other bands won't touch anymore; most notably, pure, unadulterated sex (does the title "Let's Fuck" make that point clearly enough?).

The angry tracks are simply crushing, grinding songs played with real fury. The other tracks are still heavy but have a slight sense of fun -- a wry wink, if you will -- especially as the lyrics get raunchier and raunchier.

Throughout, "American Apathy" is track after raging track of solid metal until the last new track ("The Life") which, curiously, slows things down a bit but never as much as some of the ballads that appeared on previous CDs. 

But it doesn't end there. "American Apathy" contains a number of bonus tracks, including re-makes of previous Dope songs and cover tunes. Surprisingly, the bonus tracks meld right into the sound of the twelve new tracks making for more than an hour of great Dope overall. There is also a limited edition version available that contains a second disc with six additional bonus tracks.

Yeah, you can probably call "American Apathy" nu-metal but here's the thing: either that genre isn't as dead as we all thought it was or it's time to come up with a new term for the enduring bands like Dope, Disturbed and Powerman 5000.

For more information, check out http://www.dopearmy.com


"Group Therapy" (Recon / Artemis / KOCH; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Group Therapy" is, for the most part, more Dope in the nu-metal style and that's a good thing. Like Disturbed, Dope take the maligned "nu-metal" label and make you realize that there's good in every metal genre - you've just got to find the bands that do it well. Dope is one of them.

"Group Therapy" opens with the pure nu-metal "Falling Away" but then morphs into the "Trash"-era Alice Cooper sound of "I Am" and the modern-ized metal ballad "Sing." There are dashes of the industrial sound the band experimented with early on ("Now is the Time"), the purer ballad sounds of "Another Day Goes By" and the pure metal fury of "Burn."

Despite the varied song types on "Group Therapy," the CD is surprisingly consistent. The quality of the songs herein stays solid throughout. Maybe there's one slow song too many, but otherwise, the songs making up "Group Therapy" work together one, making the album whole.

If you can't stand nu-metal, you're not going to like "Group Therapy" but you'll be doing yourself an injustice because there's a lot of good stuff on this CD. 

Dope: Sloane Jentry; Edsel Dope; Virus; Racci Shay.

For more information, check out http://www.dopearmy.com


"Life" (Epic; 2001)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

While I won't go as far as to say that "Life" is better than "Felons and Revolutionaries," I will say that "Life" finally shows Dope growing into their own. Whereas "Felons and Revolutionaries" was perhaps a little too Marilyn Manson-ish (see review below), "Life" steps away from that sound a little. That may be as much the result of producer Josh Abraham's involvement (he's worked with other Dope-like bands such as Staind and Limp Bizkit) as the band's own growth, but the result is decidedly more Dope-ish than otherwise.

With "Life," Dope steps away from the near-industrial sounds they achieved on some of "Felons" and instead go deeper into nu-metal territory. I know - "nu-metal" - there's that horrible word. But not all "nu-metal" is bad and Dope is living proof of it. The industrial Manson-ish isn't completely gone, however. "What About ..." is a weird little ditty that fits that bill perfectly.

As far as hooks are concerned, "Life" is full of them and it's difficult not to get into this record even after the first play-through. Just try not to chant along with "Die MF Die" or sing the chorus to "Now Or Never." It's damn near impossible.

"Dope" still won't win any awards for sheer originality, but they manage to deliver a solid rock'n'roll record without the clichés pulling them into the self-parody arena. Fans of the first album will undoubtedly enjoy this one as well.

For more information on DOPE, please visit http://www.dopearmy.com


"Life" (Epic; 2001)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

"Life" is packed full of good songs to sing along with (or scream to), and plenty of guitar to boot. It's super-charged metal so turn it up loud! “Take Your Best Shot” starts of the CD nicely; this will have you singing along and pumping your fist. There are heavy guitar riffs all over this disc and, along with the strong vocals, it makes this CD one of Dope's better releases.

“Thanks for Nothing” is an anthem for a lot of youths today; people pulling at them and taking from them while no one is doing anything in return. This is a good "I feel pressure" song that will help you release it or identify with it. It’s aggressive and rude. “Move It” starts out with a father's nightmare: a little girl telling her daddy that she wants to grow up to be a "dancer" so she can make lots of cash.

“With or Without You” is a slower song from the CD and fits nicely with the mix and it's another great song to sing along with. It's good for grabbing some listeners who might shy from the other aggressive tracks. The piano at the beginning sounds like the ending of the Faith No More song "Epic."

"Life" is a great album to release some aggression to. A few spins in the player and you will forget about your problems because Edsel will have you singing along with his.

There is an Easter egg here for those who like to find those things. Let the last song end, wait a few seconds, and a hidden song entitled "Gotta Get Away" will start up. A nice find if you didn't know it was there.

The best teeth busters are “Take Your Best Shot,” “Nothing (Why),” “Thanks For Nothing,” and “Crazy.”

For more information on DOPE, please visit http://www.dopearmy.com


"Felons and Revolutionaries" (Flip/Epic; 2000)dope.jpg (6463 bytes)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Fans who were disappointed by MARILYN MANSON's departure from their "Anti-Christ Superstar" sound on "Mechanical Animals," take heart: DOPE is here to give you that fix you need.

"Felons and Revolutionaries" sounds like the record that you expected Manson to make after "Anti-Christ Superstar." It's got loads of chopping guitars and driving rhythms but makes no bones about including hooks and melodies either.

Dope vocalist Edsel Dope describes the band as "a post-industrial metal band ... yet we have hooks and melodies and pop influences. We're a pretty damn heavy band." Edsel describes DOPE pretty well. The music is heavy, but there's a slight industrial flavor to it as well. It's tap-your-foot, bang-your-head heavy metal loaded with lyrics that speak volumes about social ills, hypocrisy and more.

Some of the CD's best tunes include the first track, "Pig Society" (of which Edsel says, "The song is written from a perspective of me in jail - where America wants me to be, thinks I should be."), "Debonair," the heavy throb track "America the Pitiful" and the mind-expanding "Wake Up."

So if "Mechanical Animals" was a little too David Bowie for you, try taking a shot of DOPE instead..

DOPE is: Edsel Dope, vocals, guitar; Simon Dope, keys, samplers; Tripp Eisen, lead guitar; Preston Nash, drums; Acey Slade, bass.

For more information on DOPE, please visit http://www.dopearmy.com


Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright © 2009 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 May 2017 21:24:57 -0400.