So here’s the totality of the information I can find out about Dope Out:
1: They’re from France (possibly Paris)
2: This is their debut album called Bad Seeds
3: The band members are Stoner (Guitar/Vocals), Dok (Bass), Crasher (Lead Guitar) and Tekila (Drums)
4: That’s it
Armed with absolutely no idea how this band came to be, where they met or any of that background info that does colour reviews sometimes, I can only begin where it starts and ends – the music. Perhaps that’s their plan....
The album kicks things off in fine fashion with ‘Death Before’ a punk rock racket that features a verse riff that is designed to make any crowd bounce up and down whilst bellowing out the incredibly singable “woah-oh” sections of the vocals. There is a lovely touch at the end of the chorus where the band displays a nice sense of melody utilising some harmonies. ‘XS’ starts with a blues based riff that sounds like something from the mid-90s (think Thunder, Skin et al) before beefing up the distortion and morphing into (go with me here.....) something that rhythmically resembles The Beautiful People. No really. I played the track to my wife and she agreed and she’s a doctor.
Standout track on this album is ‘Blessed Revenge’ with its deceptive melodic intro; there is something ominous yet mainstream about the song. Its lyrics sang alternatively by (I assume...) vocalist Stoner and what sounds like an unidentified female. If any of the band would like to clarify this for me, that’d be great. There are sweepingly melodic passages and heavy riffs woven throughout the song. This is the song that would get played on rock radio. And the fact that they have the balls to end on a riff that only appears for the last minute or so of the said song, is genius.
Elsewhere there are other gems too: ‘Revelation’ is the kind of song The Offspring used to write back when they were good. ‘Str8’ is a great rock tune that you play loudly whilst you’re getting ready to head out on a Friday night (terrible title though). ‘Never Back Down’ sounds like Therapy? giving The Almighty a damn good seeing too. Album closer ‘Die Alone’ finds the band in a more reflective mood with military style snare rolls underpinning some wistful vocals from Stoner (SIDE NOTE: Seriously guys, your “names” make you sound like The Bash Street Kids. Might be worth reassessing. Just a suggestion.)
This is a really strong, solid debut album featuring lots of hooks, lots of bits that crowds can sing and enough heavy guitars to satisfy most metal heads. It’s a pop/punk/rock hybrid and it works surprisingly well. With the right promotion this is really a band that could go places and make a name for themselves. With luck, there will be much more to come from this French four piece and with this as their foundation; they’re on course for great things.