Thessalonian Dope Gods

High Idol Pulsation

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Edward Shimborske III, aka ES3, is a perfect example of a musician who has been so busy running a label that he hasn't always had a lot of time for his own group. The group in question is the Thessalonian Dope Gods; the label is Sin Klub Entertainment -- and because of the demands of running Sin Klub, Shimborske has often had more of a behind-the-scenes focus (as in A&R, marketing, promotions, publicity, etc.) and hasn't had the luxury of making his group a full-time endeavor. Nonetheless, the duo's work continues to enjoy a small cult following, and those who appreciated the Dope Gods' 1994 disc Urban Witchcraft will be happy to see them forcefully reemerge with High Idol Pulsation. This 2003 release isn't a radical departure from their previous work; Shimborske and longtime colleague Randy "RK" Wilson are still relevant to industrial music but aren't industrial purists by any stretch of the imagination. The Dope Gods never pretended to be industrial purists any more than Willie Nelson is a country purist or David Sanborn is a jazz purist; Shimborske and Wilson have always had a wide variety of influences, and High Idol Pulsation reflects their eclectic outlook just as Urban Witchcraft did back in 1994. This CD is industrial-friendly, but it also underscores the Midwesterners' appreciation of metal, punk, hip-hop, and techno. Original material dominates High Idol Pulsation, although Shimborske and Wilson also include an unlikely cover of Split Enz's 1979 hit "I Got You." While Split Enz's original version was poppy new wave, the Dope Gods' metallic, punky, industrialized remake belongs in either a mosh pit or an S&M/fetish club -- or perhaps both. All things considered, High Idol Pulsation pretty much picks up where Urban Witchcraft left off -- and while this in-your-face CD falls short of perfect, it's still a respectable, enjoyably broad-minded comeback for the Thessalonian Dope Gods.