Review: Dope – "Felons and Revolutionaries"

Dope, a five piece metal group, released this, their first album, in 1999. Metal fans are going to be pleased, I’m sure. Edsel Dope screams his lungs out and sounds great doing it, the guitars are wicked, and the bass on some of the songs is fantastic. Crank “Debonaire” or “Sick” with the bass up and you’ll see what I mean. Although a lot of the songs deal with the same subjects(violence, relationships, drugs, and combinations of the aforementioned three), they are all distinctly different.
Every album has its great tracks and “Felons and Revolutionaries” is no different. The singles, “Debonaire” and “Everything Sucks” are both powerhouses in their own right, but there are several other gems. “Kimberly’s Ghost”, “One Fix”, “Pig Societyl”, and “You Spin Me Right Round” – a wicked Dead or Alive cover that proves that pop music can be salvaged – are among said gems.
“Everything Sucks”, which was released as a single, is about coming to terms with not really caring about the people you’re around. “I never cared that much/And I never kept in touch/But most of all what really sucks/Is everything and all of us” is the chorus of the song, and very fitting. The verses comprise a pair of situations in which plastic friendships are common. People telling you about their friends that you don’t know or care about, and saying that you’ll be back to visit just as soon as you can with no intention of doing so. The guitars on “Everything Sucks” are insane. If you listen closely, you can discern several smaller riffs played in the background the main parts of the song.
“Sick” is an excellent pissed off track. A bad day in heavy metal form, the anger builds over a pulsing bassline that explodes into a violent crescendo with the chorus, “Bang, bang, bang, in your head fucker/Bang, bang, bang, and your dead fucker”.

“Debonaire”, also released as a single, has a hate the rich attitude about it. The verses satirize your average millionaires, listing various things that they might find essential to life, but that most are just fine without. Diamond rings, limousines, top hats, designer names, and “bonny dames without a brain” are among the things that Edsel mentions. This is the most recognizable track on the album.
“You Spin Me Right Round” is a cover of the 80’s track by Dead or Alive. The poppy strains of the original are replaced with the hard driving riffs found elsewhere on the CD, and Edsel Dope’s voice is a helluva lot more appealing than the original singer’s(I don’t have a clue what his name is). I must tip my hat to Mr. Dope for taking an alright-at-best song and reworking it into a fantastic track. As a side note, it gets even better if you turn up the bass.
Special mention must go to the hidden track, “Fuck the Police”, due to the fact that on the back of the disc, as well as on the track listing on the disc itself, it is left out. On the listing it skips from track 7 to 9, since I don’t think any police officers would take kindly to seeing a disc with that track on it sold in stores. It’s really too bad though, because musically this song is on par with the rest of the album, but doesn’t even get mentioned. A shame, really.
“Felons and Revolutionaries” is an adrenaline driving metal disc that lives up to, and exceeds, my expectations. A round of applause to the boys in Dope for an excellent first outing.
Walrus gives “Felons and Revolutionaries” a 3.5/5.