Following seven years after the first entry in the series, Blood Money Part 0 sees Edsel Dope and his compatriots unapologetically doing what they do best, infusing elements of industrial, rap, and goth into an alt. metal brew that many would argue hasn’t quite matured past the angsty leanings of one’s late teen years. Of course, this has largely been part of DOPE’s lasting appeal, and it isn’t as if the band’s rigorous tour schedule hasn’t at least assisted in maintaining some vitality with audiences over the years.
Songs like the opening “No Respect,” “Fuck It Up,” and “Parasite” are par for the course with guttural guitar riffs and forceful rhythms, the pointed directness of the lyrics leaving nothing to the imagination; the same could be said of “Choke,” which does indeed “Grab it by the fucking throat,” but there’s still an inherent catchiness to the monotone rage, a descending harmony accompaniment singing “We’re sick and tired of it” adding a nice sonic flavor. In fact, it’s in these little production touches that Blood Money Part 0 exemplifies DOPE’s strong infusion of modern pop flourishes, from the subtle autotune and elegant harmonies of “Believe” to the almost whimsical jauntiness of “Misery,” the grimy bass tone and vibrant synths adding a bounciness that offsets the grim if somewhat unsophisticated lyrics. Others like “Row” and especially “Best of Me” are almost reminiscent of Blue Stahli with breakbeats and bright synth layers adding to a robust, almost bluesy melody. “Dive” hints at a certain self-awareness as it poignantly addresses the pitfalls of substance abuse and tragedy porn that veritably defines the rockstar lifestyle that DOPE has happily indulged in, while the trickling keyboards and scratchy bass progressions in the melancholy “Lovesong” stand as one of the more interesting covers of one of The Cure’s most beloved songs.
With nü-metal and ‘90s-era alternative enjoying a slight resurgence in the ‘20s, it’s perhaps the right time for DOPE to make itself heard once again and release an album like Blood Money Part 0. It’s not likely to elevate the band back into the mainstream spotlight beyond a well established reputation, and while longtime detractors will probably not be converted beyond the few songs that exhibit elements of proficiency and growth, fans and genre newcomers should enjoy it as a solid helping of modern nü-metal.