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May 18, 2024

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The Dirty Rotten CD (Beer City Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

During the formative years of American Hardcore few bands stand out as much as D.R.I. They, of the knee raising, elbow flapping imprint, set the pace for the flood of Skater Punk types in the early '80s that served as the starchy alternative to mainstream Metal. If you need a little reminding, let's put it like this: D.R.I. basically took their cue from bands like The Sex Pistols -- go out there with no clue, timing, or instrumental skill whatsoever, crank the amps past twelve, play as fast as you can, scream your ass off for thirty seconds, slap an in-vogue, anarchic, introverted, laugh till it hurts label on 'em, and twenty tracks and ten minutes later, you got an album. We've got a word for them today -- Anal Cunt. "Talking to the singer, I can't believe he still has a voice--" as spoken by the seriously toned on-air interviewer apparently completely intimidated somewhere between the "I Don't Need Society" demo and "Blockhead," two of the 'Imbeciles, bigger moments on their original "Dirty Rotten" EP gone LP in the Spring of '83, reproduced here in the finest, let's not even try to cover our fuck ups fashion. So returning to the "glory" days of a garage Punk group from Houston who were fortunate enough to earn a title through the subtle support of the Brecht Brothers' old man returning after a particularly tiring day at the mill. And thus "Dirty Rotten Imbeciles" was born and with them, an impenetrable brand of ill-timed noise-core that gave rise to the new underground movement of equally embraceable, if minimalist talent in others like The Crumbsuckers, Cro-Mags, and Circle Jerks. D.R.I.'s remained faithful to the underground after all these years in spite of changing climes, quick jump bassists, and a flurry of fast-paced pit-preaching shit talkers with nothing funny to say. Before they became "big" and earned the right to better production and extended play time -- see "Crossover," "Four Of A Kind," they were the sappy, skinny, wise-ass Punk group with an ear for discord and a taste for thrash; they were the precursory S.O.D. prototype with the door blowing capacity for making records with a handful of high pressured song canisters that quickly blew holes in the listening audience under a flurry of flying fists and feet. And so "The Dirty Rotten" LP breathes again in CD form, twenty years later, armed with the same rants, raves, and uproarious ridicule that first marked the "Reaganomic" decade, only with another 22 kicks to the crotch involving poorly recorded bedroom era demos, radio shows, and live stuff that do nothing to dispel that waxy build up feeling on either side. Also includes five CD enhanced tracks and ghastly first cover reprints and song lyrics that really make for some story time fun. If you never heard 'em, here's your chance to -- again, and again, and again -- one of the few bands that had the ability to put an equitable spin on the serious and stupid and still come out smiling. And look for more upcoming reissues and tours and a new album later in the year, and if your idea of fun includes an escape from the ordinary, why not check out their web site --
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