D.R.I.
Dirty Rotten LP


4.5
superb

Review

by Zachary Powell USER (64 Reviews)
December 24th, 2006 | 33 replies


Release Date: 1983 | Tracklist


Note: The reason Sputnik lists the album as having 28 songs is that the track list is taken from the 2003 reissue of the album, then retitled then Dirty Rotten CD

You might have heard of this here "D.R.I." band from somewhere, maybe your hardcore or metal loving friends have name dropped them, or maybe you've seen their logo. Its a very signature and career spanning visual, a man caught in seemingly mid-skank is D.R.I. a ska band then? Maybe the full name of the band "Dirty Rotten Imbeciles" would make you think more along the lines of oi or street punk band. Well whatever expectations you have established you can pretty much shove em since at the time the concept of sub-minute songs on 20+ tune albums was expected by about no one. Sure Minor Threat gets all the credit for staying sober and being the band in the D.C. scene, but the west coast itself had it's own identity; one progressed by the hardcore stylings of D.R.I. who in 1984 began their hardcore/punk years after relocating to San Francisco.

In the time it took you to read this sentence, 2 D.R.I. songs could have played fully, now that's saying something. With hardcore at the time people were used to slightly sped up verses and bridges, calling for more out of the instrument section, but HOLY FUCK! does singer Kurt Brecht drop loads of dynamite on the listener per song or what!? Yes he does, and not only are the words he deliver strong in content and thought out passages ("I want to help America keep the peace/I want to be a trooper in the world police/Draft Me"), but the speed which he spits out these lines is nothing to be messed with. "Closet Punk" which probably went on to influence Anal Cunt with its playful badmouthing of a certain group, in this case "punks ("If your mom only knew that you wear bandannas and boots/Or that you traded your tennis racket/for a camouflage jacket/Those wrap around glasses make you look like a faggot"). Rough words but the focus here is on the delivery, Closet Punk is 32 seconds, it also has 4 full verses and a chorus. I'd do the math and say how much time is spend on each verse but I'm still mind boggled by how any other instrument not being sung into can fit in. It must be noted that Kurt Brecht is not Jeff Buckley, and as such his voice is not beautiful, he does not have a multiple octave spanning voice, if anything he works it with it in the constant key of loud yelling.

Though its not such a hard equation, Spike Cassidy can play and dispel the myth of hardcore guitarists making songs that any 13 year old can play. Power chords and simple repeated lines are looked down upon and are not the centerpiece behind the guitar work. Even if the only memorable bursts on one song are minimal, such as the pull off and hammer on parts of Running Around, they are still there and call attention to the guitar. Not that the rhythm section is that much unimportant, but, it is. Being on the other side of signature and longstanding members Cassidy and Brecht is already tough enough, being Kurt's own brother Eric and drumming in the same band as he but without the underground acclaim must be hellish. Still the drums and bass go along with everything else being played on this album; they are fast and loud with an occasional bit of slop too.

The thing about that album which is the blessing and curse, is that one listen will produce feelings of resentment and "I just wasted 23 minutes" more often than not. The Dirty Rotten LP isn't built for the first listen to entrance most casual listeners, in fact it can sound like a bunch of noise (but so can anything really). Once the first 10 or 20 listens are in the books the songs begin to have different and distinctive qualities: the repeated lyrics of Reaganomics ("Reaganomics killing me!/Reaganomics killing you!"), the way "Sad To Be" uses a mid song guitar and drum jam and song placement to be the sonic intermission between acts, or the complete change of pace that comes with the light guitar intro to "Blockhead" all represent the originality and effort put forth on this work. Indeed existing as 28 individual songs and less than 1 extended burst of noise does the LP.

Its not hard to make short songs and put them on an album, nor is it difficult to scream into a mic randomly or noodle on a guitar; but can you do these things while being focused and carving out a real work and not a wankfest. The LP (which was first an EP in 1982) does all that and does it very masterfully; though the band would eventually change members and genres, they are still remembered for their debut shot at hardcore. If you like it loud with inaudible lyrics and the feeling of being hit by a 2 ton stick of dynamite, this is for you.



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user ratings (117)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Bazarov
December 24th 2006


55 Comments


COUCH SLOUCH!
FUCK OFF!

Great review.
Great album.

Intransit
August 5th 2007


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ampere covered "Money Stinks" last night. It was hella brutal. This is really the only album I like from this band.

WARPATH_88
August 9th 2007


514 Comments


Love this band. I dont have this LP but I have alot of the songs of this.

TheyTookOurJobs
September 20th 2010


1318 Comments


The drummer is actually really good on this......

KILL
October 14th 2011


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rules

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

porch
October 14th 2011


8460 Comments


agreed

uninvited
December 4th 2011


248 Comments


Rules

VlacDrac
December 10th 2011


840 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hardcore

Relinquished
December 10th 2011


25582 Comments


so good

Ire
December 10th 2011


41822 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sup wolfe

Spec
September 25th 2012


27271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice

Digging: Midnight - No Mercy for Mayhem

KILL
September 25th 2012


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bet u didnt even listen

Spec
September 25th 2012


27271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

its good but they ripped off municipal waste with the hardcore thrash thing

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
September 25th 2012


1917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is one crazy album, but it still manages to keep the listener from skipping each track.

"its good but they ripped off municipal waste with the hardcore thrash thing"

They ripped off municipal waste? This album was released in 1983, and Municipal waste didn't even form until 2000...



Digging: Obliterations - Poison Everything

KILL
September 25th 2012


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol

Spec
September 25th 2012


27271 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was kidding...

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
September 25th 2012


1917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well excuse me if I can't understand a good joke here and there on the internet...

KILL
September 25th 2012


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dont worry it was a rly bad one anyway

KILL
May 10th 2013


72090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

MONEY STINKS MONEY STINKS

THE CITY STINKS

ResidentNihilist
May 10th 2013


1171 Comments


Hey KILL, these guys or Wehrmacht? Who do you prefer?



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