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Dope
GROUP THERAPY
(Artemis)
Stars graphics

With a lackluster two-album stint on Epic behind him, dreadlocked Marilyn Manson acolyte Edsel Dope has tightened his grip on the band who bear his name. Moving to a smaller label and working without a big-name producer, he stumbles upon a winning combination of hard-rock sleaze and goth-pop bounce. "Iím not like you, Iím not like them, I wonít pretend," he squeals on "I Am," the discís mosh-friendly first single. Itís nothing Manson and others didnít say and do better years ago, but the trackís stormy chorus and squiggly synth hooks make for thrilling party music nonetheless.

The album is also a CD-ROM that allows fans to watch all 13 songs in video form, and the treatments are as salacious as they are high-quality: despite his flamboyance, Edsel canít help surrendering the spotlight to his sultry female co-stars on the raucous sex jam "Bitch." Versatility is one of his strengths: on the unplugged ballad "Sing," he goes to the Guns Ní Roses well for a street-savvy pop anthem that sounds like a Top 40 crossover waiting to happen. He may tend to repeat himself ó see "Now Is the Time" and "Today Is the Day" ó but this dude knows that hard rock does not live on attitude alone.

(Dope perform this Saturday, March 6, at Club Liquid, 54 Main Street in Leominster; call 978-840-3500.)

BY SEAN RICHARDSON


Issue Date: March 5 - 11, 2004
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