Dec. 18, 2003

Dope Mixes Hard Rock and Ballads to Create “Group Therapy”

By Randy J. Klodz

If one conducts a random Internet search on the word “dope,” one could assume that most hits (pardon the pun) would be in reference to street drugs. However, some of those Web pages will focus on Dope, a band of heavy rockers from New York City, that will be appearing at Clearwater Theater in West Dundee on Dec. 18.

Dope--which features Edsel Dope on vocals/guitar, Virus on guitar/keys, Sloane “Mosey” Jentry on bass and Racci Shay on drums/samples--first made mainstream noise with the release of 2000’s “Felons and Revolutionaries,” which features the hits “Everything Sucks” and “Debonaire.”

The sound of Dope borrows much from what has made bands such as White Zombie and Static-X popular: Heavy rock riffs with clever beats intertwined, creating something so loud, yet with a beat one could head-nod to.

The band’s most recent album, “Group Therapy,” released in October, still sees the band as heavy as most of the band’s earlier work, with the tracks “Paranoia,” “Falling Away” and “So Low,” but offers a new mellow side to the band that has yet to be witnessed.

“Easier” sounds more like the classic rock song “Turn the Page” from Bob Seger, than it does heavy metal, a lighter side of Dope that showcases the talented musical range of each of the members of the band. Edsel Dope’s low-key lyrics, “Would it make things easier if I were gone / Would it make things right if I was never wrong / Would it make things easier if I were gone / Would it make things easier,” are so strong, it’s a wonder it took this long for the band to present a lighter side.

“Another Day Goes By” starts off with an acoustic guitar strum, and Dope’s calm lyrics, makes the song work without sounding like a metal band trying to appear lame by using the ballad cliché. Often metal acts will add one ballad to its album to create some type of attention. Dope does this in a way that doesn’t seem forced.

Clearwater Theater is at 96 W. Main St., in northwest suburban West Dundee. Tickets for this all-ages show are listed for $12 each in advance, $14 at the door. For more information on Clearwater Theater, call 847-836-8820.
Dope Photo: c/o Recon Records