Dope Stars Inc.
Ultrawired


3.0
good

Review

by Acanthus USER (46 Reviews)
June 6th, 2011 | 11 replies | 4,674 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another rather bland offering from the Italian trio that once again fails to make the listener want to revisit the album.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

There has never been a time where I found myself wanting to listen to any of Dope Star Inc's albums over and over again. The industrial rock trio has yet to release anything bad per say, but I always come away from their albums with a sense of loss; there is something missing that blocks the group from taking that next step and becoming memorable. While 21st Century Slave had a few tracks that almost tipped this precarious balance in the right direction the rest of the album failed to impress, leaving the “cyberpunk” group ample room for improvement. While Ultrawired certainly has DSI's signature feel it does not step up to the plate, nor pass their previous efforts.

One of the first things that DSI albums have in common is energy, and Ultrawired is no different in this regard. The excellent balance in volume is a real highlight, allowing the music to ebb and flow naturally rather than having the forced breaks that so many bands in the genre seem to employ. Victor Loves vocals still retain their slight distorted tinge throughout most of album, allowing the listener to focus on more than deciphering what each track is about. Love even occasionally surpasses his previous synth efforts with those on Ultrawired as each synth line is varied and complements the drum machine's work quite nicely.

Initially it seems as if DSI have missed the point of an opening track as “Better Not To Joke” begins. A relatively simple variable pitch synth line starts and increases in volume before falling under the line “we have the turbo right to say/we want the music not to pray.” While the track possesses energy the lyrical content ultimately fails to impress; given the wriggle room the band has created by labeling themselves cyberpunk one would hope that they could have used better wording. While the lyrics fail to improve as the song goes on the chorus does show an inkling of hope, allowing “Better Not To Joke” to rise from bland to passable with lines that are easy to sing along with, albeit not being very intelligent. This mediocrity is present in the vast majority of Ultrawired tracks, begging the question of where the talent found on 21st Century Slave disappeared to.

Not long after the first few tracks end the album start to drag on, and even being slightly over the 52 minute mark 14 tracks seems like a daunting listen. While tracks such as “Get Young” with its loud synth intro and prominent beat try to break the monotony they fall short due to the effort of Loves lyrics and choice of mixing; repeating lines like a broken record player only works so many times in one setting. Unique among these however is “No Life Belongs To You,” which is actually quite good in its own laid back way. Here the band excels in a relatively low key track, and the high cleans spattered throughout show a bit of DSI's 80's rock influence.

There is only one track on Ultrawired that stands head and shoulders above the rest, and as “Lies Irae” begins it becomes apparent that not all talent has left the album, it's just hidden in this 3:35 offering. Opening up with a sample of an orchestra complete with choir the song immediately distinguishes itself from the others, really grabbing the listeners attention. As the choir fades and the drum machine starts in time with the orchestra the low key synths rise slightly to lead into the proclamation “I want to leak the name of eternal wrath/I want to leak the name of a new era” and the bands cyberpunk nature really starts to show. While starting with such a stunning, striking sample could have easily overshadowed the rest of the track DSI pulls out all the stops, making “Lies Irae” the first true industrial rock song on the album. The keyboards and synths work in perfect harmony as the drum machine and guitar start to become frenzied, while throughout Love gives his best vocal performance calling the audience to action with lines such as “wake up/this is not a sick war game.”

For a band inspired by 80's rock/pop to become a rather popular industrial rock group is surprising, let alone for the Italian trio to decide to embrace a cyberpunk label and feature the theme strongly in their albums. Ultrawired is an album where a few key moments really shine through, and similar to the bands previous record 21st Century Slave these are the tracks the listener will find themselves coming back to if they come back at all. I've often wanted to like Dope Stars Inc more than I do, sadly Ultrawired is not enough to break through and change my opinion of the band.



Recent reviews by this author
Gary Numan Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)Ryan Amon Elysium
Shpongle Museum of ConsciousnessAnamanaguchi Endless Fantasy
Sneaker Pimps Becoming RemixedJuno Reactor The Golden Sun Of The Great East
user ratings (3)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
June 6th 2011



9513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I fear that some of this might be worded strangely, please alleviate/confirm my fears and tell me if something is amiss.

I'd recommend giving this a listen, but hold off from buying. 21st Century Slave was better, even though this is being release free on the bands website here -> http://www.dopestarsinc.com/

Digging: Ayria - Hearts for Bullets

bloc
June 6th 2011



34500 Comments


Never liked this band

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

Acanthus
June 6th 2011



9513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Same here, though 3 tracks from their previous album get a bit of play time.

pizzamachine
June 6th 2011



12568 Comments


Was gonna review this. Thanks for allowing me to be lazy ;)

Acanthus
June 6th 2011



9513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh no problem, it was one of those that when you're done listening to it you go to something else immediately; for me it's genCAB and it sounds superb by comparison.

Blindsided
June 6th 2011



1871 Comments


Good thing I didn't download this last week.

Digging: Exit_International - Our Science Is Golden

Acanthus
June 6th 2011



9513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's free and I put it on the blog, but it's really more of an intro type album (even more so than their last).

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 7th 2011



8223 Comments


I agree with bloc, Dope Stars Inc is one of the blandest industrial rock groups ever.

Acanthus
June 7th 2011



9513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

They really are indeed, cool to see you here Metalstyles.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
June 7th 2011



8223 Comments


Why thank you haha. Review is good btw.

Acanthus
June 7th 2011



9513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks man, I'm trying to write a bit more and sometime I'll go into another genre eventually.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy