Dope
American Apathy


1.5
very poor

Review

by Magnus Altkula STAFF
January 28th, 2012 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


It is 2012 and I still jam to Dope every now and then. Bite me. No Regrets ruled when it came out in 2009 and their older stuff has aged surprisingly well compared to many other nu metal acts. Regardless, American Apathy, the album in question, was definitely the low-point of Dope’s career. What was supposed to be a return to roots album after the softer, more melodic Group Therapy, turned out to be a trainwreck caused by overtrying and messy execution. American Apathy is quite simply nothing else than a musical equivalent of a midlife crisis.

Throughout the whopping 15 tracks (whopping for a metal album), Dope try to recapture the essence of their debut album, Felons And Revolutionaries, by bringing back the industrial effects and sharper attitude. It is also evident they were desperate to create another song as successful as "Everything Sucks", yet they forgot that: a) they were past their twenties, so creating a powerful industrial rock/nu metal angst anthem may not come as naturally anymore and b) it was 2005, and no one really craved for said angst anthem in those days. Still, Dope have never changed much as far as attitude is concerned, so I guess their attempts could be counted as valiant, right? To try and do what they've always done, just better, or at least just as well? If only they had actually done that.

Instead, going through American Apathy, you will find yourself wading through track after track of nonsense industrialized metal that tries to sound really badass, yet does not in any way, shape or form. The main question I find asking myself is how could they butcher their own formula so thoroughly? Even if Group Therapy was a generally softer affair musically, Dope had always been the band known for shouting out angsty lyrics over catchy, faux-aggressive guitars. The band’s personality and approach never changed in between the debut and American Apathy (and hasn’t changed to this day!). So that is why I call this a midlife crisis record, even if the band members were still way too young to be experiencing a midlife crisis themselves: it is an album that tries so hard to re-achieve past glory, yet fails in spectacular fashion.

What really makes me scratch my head though, is why did the guys in Dope feel an irresistible need to fully return to their most primitive roots in the first place. They hadn’t had a total fluke of an album, they hadn’t lost their loyal fanbase, they hadn’t become something or someone they were not, and so on. It seems like they wanted to create another Felons And Revolutionaries just for the hell of it, but became too obsessed with the idea itself to make something good out of it. So as the result, what you get out of American Apathy, is a record that doesn’t sound disorientated, but even worse, too ardent for its own good, as ridiculous as that may seem. Dope sound like a cover band of themselves here, trying to capture the essence of "Everything Sucks" and "Debonaire" in their most fanatic and, regrettably, amateurish way.

Even when some good songs pop up ("Survive" is positively one of Dope’s most aggressive songs; "Always" is a good cut that is driven by a crafty chorus melody; "Let’s ***" is so over the top that, when listened to with the right mood, is actually pretty amusing, especially thanks to the catchy electronics in the chorus; and finally, Dope’s cover of "People Are People" is rather decent, though obviously not as good as the original), they're too few and far between to impact the album in a way that makes the bad songs sound more tolerable. Besides, the lyrics on this cd are probably some of the worst I have ever heard, and that is saying a lot, seeing as I can easily tolerate them on Dope's other efforts, which are by no means lyrical masterpieces, mind you. While the lyrics on albums such as Felons And Revolutionaries and No Regrets can be absorbed in an amusing, tongue-in-cheek way, here they are too cringe-worthy to possess any comedic or, more truthfully, any value at all.

Edsel Dope, and Dope in general, has always had the moto of being serious about what they do, but not actually being serious in their output - a logic that is absolutely fine by me. Dope is a band known for its desire to rock the crowd, to get the party going, and the world needs more rock acts with such mentality. Yet, on American Apathy, they just overdid it. On this album, the band reached a point where the music was no longer fun to listen to, and for a band that thrives exactly on that, it was a major blow. We can now look back on 2005’s American Apathy as nothing more than a misstep, as everything Dope got wrong on this album, they got right on 2009's No Regrets. Still, that doesn't make American Apathy any better – an industrial rock/nu metal album generally devoid of redeeming features.



Recent reviews by this author
Atrum Tempestas NeantEluveitie Origins
MiXE1 Starlit SkinDoom:VS Earthless
Nocturnal Breed Napalm NightsThyrien Hymns of the Mortals - Songs from the North
user ratings (117)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
DW365 (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2012


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'm positively the only person on this site still caring about Dope :D

EDIT: And I have not done a review in a while, so I need to get back to my writing groove, and the best way to do it is to write about something I've had for years now.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2012


28785 Comments


everything about this

so 100% right

american apathy is fucking dreadful

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2012


28785 Comments


dude im in the music video for "I Am"

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2012


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Dude I know, you have shared that precious info with me before haha.

EDIT: Though I don't know which one you are there

pizzamachine
January 28th 2012


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Dope review Metalman! :P

Acanthus
January 28th 2012


9545 Comments


I saw Dope and was hoping this wasn't Felons and Revolutionaries - still play that album and their cover of "You Spin Me Round" is damn good.

"Violence" is the track that got me into the band, and luckily this album remains one that I've never fully heard.

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2012


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Yeah, You Spin Me Round is imo one of the best pop covers by a metal band.

And fyi Acanthus, I dig the rest of Dope's stuff and I've also reviewed Felons And Revolutionaries (and as a side note, also No Regrets. Oh and Group Therapy was my first review on this site - it's so bad it's brain damaging btw haha) and that one is a solid 3.5, so no need to worry :P.

Thanks pizzaman!

KILL
January 28th 2012


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

damn this band sucks so hard

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

Laiho1923
January 28th 2012


11 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i'd say this album and the songs on it are more funny/entertaining than they are musically noteworthy, which still makes for an enjoyable listen

turnip90210
January 28th 2012


321 Comments


Pos'd. No Regrets is easily their best album, probably because it's the only one that doesn't make 80% of my brain shut off in protest. This one is probably the most idiotic and redundant of them all.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2012


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

i'd say this album and the songs on it are more funny/entertaining than they are musically noteworthy


Dope's other stuff is entertaining for sure. This album..."Sex Machine" and "Let's Fuck" may be rather fun when I'm blasted, but most of this is just very bad.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2012


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Pos'd. No Regrets is easily their best album, probably because it's the only one that doesn't make 80% of my brain shut off in protest. This one is probably the most idiotic and redundant of them all.
Yeah, No Regrets ftw, I really like that one. I like Dope's other stuff too, just hate AA. They're a fun, mindless metal band.

Wizard
January 28th 2012


19612 Comments


It is 2012 and I still jam to Dope every now and then. Bite me.

I still like Felons and Revolutionairies so...

Love your reviews man, you keep the nu-metal flowing around these parts when I'm not around!

Digging: Hans Zimmer - Interstellar

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 28th 2012


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Thanks for your continued support Karl, and yeah, having a weird affection for good nu metal is what I shall most likely be remembered by on this site haha.

BassDemon333
January 28th 2012


3414 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is alright, Survive rules though.

asaf
January 29th 2012


888 Comments


im scared to put on felons and revolutionaries. i listen to upheaval and inevitable end now. nemertines, bulb, and modern
metal, which i consider to be bands like as you drown. would this be like picking scabs?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 29th 2012


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

would this be like picking scabs?
I wouldn't put it that harshly haha, but I don't see you enjoying it much nevertheless.

Well there goes any desire I had to listen to this lol.
On the bright side, you now should have the desire to give No Regrets a spin ;)

simonpettersen
January 30th 2012


272 Comments


Oh, and here I though someone else was gonna shit on All American Nightmare. Oh well

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2012


22034 Comments


I've always really liked Always

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

BassDemon333
January 30th 2012


3414 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Always has the best chorus on the album



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 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy