Break out your eyeshadow and strap on your doc martens from hot topic, there’s yet another gothic industrial band hitting the scene under the name DOPE STARS INC. If you’re a nocturnal Gothic raver, this album was made for you, if you’re like the rest of the populous, then you probably won’t get into the “groove” of this CD as much as the aforementioned group would. The grooves can be infectious, but there just isn’t enough variation to keep me entertained like other Gothic Industrial bands.
Actually to be fair this is probably more industrial than gothic, at least in my classification of it as they have the whole gothic look down, but the music isn’t much like TRISTANIA, or THE SINS OF THY BELOVED. I was initially confusing them with the band DEATHSTARS after I saw the video for “Synthetic Generation” and read a review for their latest effort. I did have to laugh at the (coincidence??) of having such similar names and looks between the groups, and it does lead to confusion between the two groups since under the gothic guise it is difficult sometimes to distinguish members from the different bands the way the photos are taken.
Enough about comparisons to other bands, what of the music you ask? It’s groove-oriented almost verging on pop catchiness. That stylistic formula I don’t mind for perhaps one song of five minutes, but when the whole album has the same drum programming on every song with overbearing synth and altered distorted vox the whole way through, that’s where I draw the line as far as the potential damage to my attention span. The band could go places if they invested in an actual drummer instead of a machine, and if they adapted something more original to the sound and perhaps (they have already changed the name once according to the bio) change it again in order to avoid having larger audiences assume they are ripping off bands such as DEATHSTARS or even MARILYN MANSON. I give this CD a middle of the road split decision as it will be loved by some, despised by others, and middle of the road as far as where this band is in their career right now. (Online March 16, 2004)