REVIEW: Dope Stars Inc. - “10,000 Watts of Artificial Pleasures”

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

10,000 Watts of Artificial PleasuresIn Dungeons and Dragons role playing, there are things such as "cursed swords." These swords do less damage than their counterparts, but once used they bond with the wielder and must be used always. The wielder him or herself can't bear to be without this weapon. They burrow into their very soul like an infectious virus and gnaw away at them until there is nothing left. You MUST use that sword!

Dope Stars Inc. have put out a cursed CD. 10,000 Watts of Destruction is a CD that is so infectiously poppy, so rivetingly common, so purposefully crafted that you must listen to it. The keyboards never ever change, the guitars are the same and probably even the same chords – I’d spin it again to check that last statement, but I’m afraid of being sucked into the abyss, my precious.

The vocals are so perfectly controlled and same throughout the CD that it might as well be one long song that stretches over six tracks. The end result is a CD that is cursed – you must listen to it. It doesn't leave your head. It's so catchy that it's sickening. And I must write this review quickly lest I can never bear to be without the sickeningly sweet stock Mansonite metal that is Dope Stars Inc.

My evidence to the effect that this CD is cursed are the third and fourth tracks. Infection, is just that. It burrows into your soul and stays there, spinning brightly turning any morose morbid motherfucker into a bouncing loon. Self Destructive Corp., meanwhile, claims matter of factly that they "sold their soul to the devil." Most likely to be able to create a record that will never ever leave the heads of anyone who spins it. Ever.

"Young, Loud and synthetized [sp.]" begins the press release. You can replace the word "synthetized" with "cookie cutter" if it makes you feel any better. Or you can just correct the misspelling and have done with it. Players in this stock-created Evil Spice Girls quadruplet are Victor Love (vocals, guitars, FX), Grace Khold (machines?), Darin Yevonde (bass) and Brian Wolfram (guitar). I'm not so sure they play them though. The sound is too perfect to be played by humans – unless blessed by the devil (see above) of course.

Now I'm going to describe the music. Guitar riffs as expected. Synth and keyboards that are set on play and walked away from. Robotic drums without nary a missed skin. Vocals that are so perfect. I tend to describe some of the songs on the album in my reviews and since this is an EP I would typically describe most of them. And I just did.

If you like pure, standard, cookie cutter catchy rhythms, predictable guitar and vocal rock 'n roll made by another group of Bettys in black, then this is your shizzitz. Pick up 10,000 Watts of Pleasure and get your groove on. If you're like me, you will probably avoid this CD lest it turn you into another drone. Just like them. The sad part is if this CD was made ten or even five years ago it would be pretty good. But if Dope Stars Inc. came out ten years ago they'd probably look like Cyndi Lauper and sound like Human League(1).

Contact Information:
Screaming Artist Publicity
Post: PO Box 5583, Vancouver, WA 98668-5583, USA
Phone: (360) 513-9121

(1) Yes I know Lauper and Human League hit it hard in the mid-80s. But DSI is approximately a decade behind everyone else, you see.

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