After some initial success with their debut album ‘Felons and Revolutionaries’ in 1999, Dope returned at the end of 2001 with their anthemic second album ‘Life’.
Still including flourishes of the industrial metal that made ‘Felons...’ a cult favourite, rap vocals and a hard rock edge saw the gothic-looking creatures make a play for the mainstream.
Produced by Josh Abraham and released on November 6 via Epic Records, ‘Life’ contained plenty of singalong, potential radio-friendly hits- underlined by the catchy singles ‘Now or Never’ and ‘Slipping Away’ (reaching 28 and 29 in the Mainstream Rock charts respectively), encompassing all that the record had to offer
Limp Bizkit’s DJ Lethal guested on the tracks ‘Stop’, ‘What About...’ and ‘March of Hope’, and a tenderness was shown on the rock ballad of ‘With or Without You’, as Dope left no stone unturned in their quest for greater exposure.
Led by the enigmatic Edsel whose vocal snarl became easy to recognise, the rest of the band line-up saw Acey Slade and Virus on guitars, Sloane Jentry on bass, Racci Shay on drums and Simon Dope on keyboards and samples; and their combined efforts helped ‘Life’ reach number six on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers chart and 180 on the Billboard 200- even though it deserved to reach much higher. Over 70,000 copies were shifted in America, setting Dope on what should have been a fairly successful and straightforward path.
The band would, however, leave Epic after feeling the label had failed to properly promote ‘Life’, instead joining Artemis Records to put out their third effort ‘Group Therapy’ in 2003. ‘Debonaire’- originally released on the ‘Felons...’ album, would then be included on the soundtrack for The Fast and the Furious movie, and Dope would also record Vince McMahon’s WWE theme song ‘No Chance (In Hell)’ to further enhance their reputation amongst the finest that nu metal had to offer.
’Life’ Track Listing-
1. Take Your Best Shot 2. Now or Never 3. Nothing (Why) 4. Stop 5. Thanks for Nothing 6. Die MF Die 7. What About... 8. Move It 9. Jenny’s Cryin’ 10. With or Without You 11. Crazy 12. Slipping Away 13. March of Hope