Group Therapy- Dope

Release Year: 2003

Rating: 4/10

You know that kid in high school who was the outcast and did their best to be a non-conformist? The kid who thought the whole world was against them and said everything sucks and thought they were dark and brooding? Then you run into them 10 years later and they still can’t get over their horrible high school experience? That my friends is Dope. This band does nothing on the album, but complain about how everybody sucks, how they are different from the conformists and how you shouldn’t try to change them because they’ll just say “Fuck you!” After listening to this album, I’m convince that these guys never got over their antisocial existence in high school.

There is not a single song that redeems this album or even makes it worth sitting through the forty minutes of typical hard guitars and cliché lyrics. Though the album starts off on a shaky start with the typical sounding nu-metal track “Falling Apart,” I thought it was going to get better, but sadly I was wrong. The band tries to be funny with the song “Bitch,” which seems to make fun of the rock stars and groupies stereotype, but it ends up being lame and repetitive. With “I Am” they remind listeners that no one can change them with music that sounds like a slow version of the Michael Myers theme. What makes this song even worse is that the lead singer Edsel Dope (great name right?) is actually trying to singing and failing miserably at it.

Things take a turn for the worse when the band tries their hardest at being sentimental. On “Sing” they talk about how people sing whenever they need to feel better or when they need to let off some steam (what a surprise). If the corny lyrics weren’t bad enough, they toss in some acoustic guitar that has a slight Southern twang. Some metal bands can actually pull off the soft side, but Dope is not one of those bands. It’s like everything that makes them a mediocre band comes to the forefront on this song. To make matters worse, they do the soft rock thing again on another track “Another Day Goes By.”

I mentioned before that Dope seems to be stuck in high school due to the subject matter of their songs. They seem like the type of band that any kid who considered themselves an outcast would listen to, claiming that the band understood their pain and anguish. And at the time they think it’s the heaviest music around. But when they revisit this album after college, they’re so ashamed that they thought this was meaningful music that they get rid of the album and deny that they ever heard of the band. What gives me this feeling is that their lyrics always deal with not fitting in, no one understanding their pain, how the world sucks, and how they can make it through each day even though it’s filled with anguish and torture.

Maybe the subject matter wouldn’t be so bad if the lyrics were actually decent. The lyrics are so corny that they sound like they were written by an angsty 16 year old. Look at these words of wisdom from “Bring it On:” “You say a lot of things/a lot of things you never do/who’d want to be like you/And I really don’t give a shit about the world/That job’s for you.” That’s not enough for you? Look at the opening line from “Paranoia:” “You say I’m paranoid isn’t that what you said/You say it’s my imagination/And I’m fucked in the head.” I didn’t expect their lyrics to be breathtaking or provocative, but I expected something better than this.

Overall, the album gets 4/10. It’s just not that good at all. There’s not really a single song to make this album worth your time. If you want a good laugh or are a fan of so bad, it’s good media, maybe give the album a chance. But the cheesy lyrics, the standard nu-metal music, and the way they actually make an attempt to sing on this record is enough to keep me away from their other material.

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