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Group Therapy

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Album Review

Dope's third full-length appears through Recon, an N.Y.C. upstart affiliated with frontman Edsel Dope through management ties. In addition to producing Group Therapy, the dreadlocked kingpin directed and/or conceived of videos for each of the album's 13 songs, including them here as DVD add-ons. The bulk of additional content is a nice touch, and should be appreciated by the group's core fan base. And Group Therapy is much stronger than 2001's flawed Life. Pounding, hard-charging percussion and rumbling, near atonal guitars are garnished with the occasional electronic flourish to form a base for Edsel's guttural yawp and rudimentary singing. He utilizes both on the obstinate "I Am," which crosses emotive Linkin Park-style verses with the double-time chorus shout of "F*ck it, I am what I am." This dirty-mouthed mulishness is typical of Edsel's lyrical muse, which leans heavily on both the F-word and themes common to the genre. Remember "Die MF Die" from Life? That song's rallying cry here as been recast as "burn motherf*cker, burn." Elsewhere, Dope grapples with depression, the everyday grind, and haters. Dope has focused its fiery attack on Group Therapy, and that should at least get the pit roiling at shows.


Formed: 1997 in Villa Park, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Dope is a Chicago-area quintet formed by brothers Edsel Dope (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and Simon Dope (keyboards). Simon studied chemistry at the University of Florida, then received a scholarship to Polytechnic in Brooklyn. There, he was joined by his brother, with the two claiming to have financed their demos by selling drugs. The initial incarnation of the band included lead guitarist Tripp Eisen, bass player Acey Slade, and drummer Preston Nash. They began a selective series of gigs in late...
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Group Therapy, Dope
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