Review Summary: Everything sucks!...
...or at least that's how Edsel Dope yells in the successful, aptly titled single "Everything Sucks". Well, luckily, at least this album doesn't. Even though Dope, over the time, has been described as "soulless nu metal garbage" or "casual mainstream nu metal", I'd like to dispute that. Sure, the frontman and main lyricist, Edsel Dope, doesn't exactly write heart-warming and thoughtful lyrics and the whole attitude of the band is the somewhat stereotypically angsty "*** you, punk!", Dope is still a fair amount different from your casual nu metal band, both musically and stylistically.
One thing that catches the ear right away on this debut is that Felons And Revolutionaries
isn't very nu metal at all (like Dope's two following records would turn out to be). Lot of turntable effects are used prominently throughout the album, the guitars sound muffled and dumbed down on some of the songs, and the whole cd has a "cold" atmosphere. Altogether, Felons And Revolutionaries
sounds more like industrial rock with a slight nu metal influence. The only songs that could really be considered nu metal are "Everything Sucks", and the N.W.A cover, "*** The Police". Another thing this album has, that is completely against nu metal standards, is the extremely fuzzy production which also enhances the cold atmosphere Felons…
has. Songs like "Intervention" and "Wake Up" are fun fuzzball-blazers.
While nothing spectacular by any means, Felons And Revolutionaries
does exactly what it should do - it either gets the party going or just provides an easy listening experience. The songs [excluding "Intervention", "Pig Society" and the unexpectedly well-executed cover of "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)"] are mostly slow-paced and the focus point is definitely on Edsel's vocals. That's not to say the vox completely overshadow the rest of the band. While the drumming and bass are kept in the background, turntable effects and guitars are always solidly audible, even if the spotlight doesn't aim for them.
If one is questioning about the album really being for him, the best songs to check out would be "Everything Sucks", "Sick", Kimberly's Ghost", and "America The Pitiful", as those songs exhibit all the different qualities this album has. "Everything Sucks", like already previously mentioned, is this album's nu metal bomb, delivering angsty lyrics and a solid nu metal sound in an industrial rock wrapper.; "Sick" exhibits Dope's ability to fuse slow verses with a speedy chorus; "Kimberly's Ghost" is a great representative of the cold nature of this album – down-tuned, uncharitable guitars playing over Edsel's lingering vocals. It also has the most mesmerizing chorus on the whole album. Finally, "America The Pitiful" is a good representative of the slow songs on this album. "Crunchy guitars" and "slow-tempo" are the keywords for this song.
What Dope has created here is a (due to lack of a better word) nice industrial rock album. The album is interesting, and even somewhat original, although, it does start to drag at the end, after "America The Pitiful". "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" is a great closer, but the others between the two songs could have easily been left out. Still, despite the few derivative factors, Felons And Revolutionaries
is a solid industrial rock album and is definitely recommended for any fan of either the industrial rock or nu metal genre. Sure, Dope did go on to bigger and better things from here (overall quality wise), initially converting to nu metal and after that turning into a really solid alternative metal band, but that doesn't make this album any less enjoyable.