It would have been very easy to trash this to album, to completely rip it apart. Afterall, Dope have always been somewhat of a secondary act in the nu-metal genre, and the fact that the genre is struggling to keep alive makes it all the easier to criticize a band like Dope who stubborningly stick to their guns. But this is actually a good album. “American Apathy” is quite possibly the definitive Dope album, combining elements from all three or their previous releases into one pleasing album.
Like all of Dope’s releases, there is a definitive cheese-factor here. The overuse of the “F” word is just one prime example. But, once you can get past that, there is an album here that is instantly enjoyable. A bit brainless, yes, but it works. Opening with a passage from the bible of Dubya, “I’m Back” aims to prove that Dope are far from dead. Following it up, better songs such as “No Way Out” “Survive” and “Always” have the band stretching out a bit from the norm. Instead of sounding like a low-grade version of their contemporaries in Powerman 5000 and Static-X, Dope manage to find a groove, and fall somewhere in between Fear Factory and Disturbed. The album is drenched in political lyrics and anti-Bush sentiments, so songs such as “I Wish I Were President” and “Revolution” speak for themselves. As strong as the first half of the album is, though, it tends to come undone with songs like “Let’s F—” and “F— The World.” A cover of Depeche Mode’s “People Are People” sounds a bit weird and out of place here, but does a lot to show that Dope aren’t just a one-trick pony.
If the album itself isn’t enough, plenty of bonus material — which dwells heavily on old material — is included to equal more bang for your buck. “F— The Police 2005″ is a bit pointless, as Dope’s original cover did nothing — but others like “Spin Me Round” (from the “American Psycho” soundtrack) and “Bring It On (F— Tomorrow Mix)” more than make up for it. Overall. Dope’s fourth is their finest. Sure, it has moments where it sags and the aformentioned cheese-factor does drag it down a bit, but as for simple, satisfying nu-metal, “American Apathy” delivers the goods.