Tuesday 10 February 2015

Review: Dope Stars Inc. – 'TeraPunk'


Italian electro-rockers Dope Stars Inc. return with their fifth full-length studio album 'TeraPunk'. The band's core formula of hard punk vocals, scathing guitars and dance-friendly electronics is firmly front and centre. The band's first outing for four years hasn't dulled their edge in the least. 'TeraPunk' presents a reinvigorated Dope Stars Inc. recalling the passion and drive of their '://Neuromance' and 'Gigahearts' days.

The album is pretty relentless as tracks such as 'It's Going To Rain On You', 'Many Thanks', 'Take It', 'You Have No Chance', 'Dressed Inside Your Fear' and 'The Believer' syphon the best of the bands past work and repackage them ready for the 2015 audience. It could be argued that it is more of the same, but Dope Stars Inc. are a band who make brash and punky electro-rock, and that's what they do best. So why change? The big choruses are there, as are the memorable riffs and the club-friendly electronics, all of which will transfer to the live circuit very nicely. What more do you need?

Just to play devil's advocate. Yes, the synth sounds are very familiar, as are the guitar and vocal effects. There's also not been that much progression in terms of production from the band's last album 'Ultrawired', and those truly experimental flourishes that endeared the band to so many on their first few releases are in short supply. Instead you get the best of the band's full on attacks. But that's kind of the point. The band give their fans what they want and 'TeraPunk' provides that in droves.

The album shows Dope Stars Inc. doing what they do best. Their riotous blend of industrial rock feels streamlined and direct in its focus, and the end result is a crop of songs that can easily stand beside the stronger cuts in their back catalogue. The band might not be reinventing the wheel on 'TeraPunk' but they've certainly set it on fire and rolled it down a hill.  

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