Review Summary: How things change.
In keeping with the style of this EP, let this review be short and to the point.
In 1981, the Dead Kennedy's released their first (and only) EP, under the title of In God We Trust, Inc
which, much like the majority of their discography, was a discussion of the political and social issues of the time. Throughout the brief span of this EP, you are presented with a very high paced introduction to these issues, be it the religious side of things, or a blatant stab at the American education system's handling of children with attention disorders, or even difficult children in general.
As with much of the hardcore punk at the time, most of the songs are short and to the point, valuing content rather than length or technicality, and this is just as applicable for the instrumental section. The guitars mainly play a chaotic mess of thrashed out chords with enough differentiation between them that the songs are able to have a different vibe. Of course, we are presented with the occasional break from the straight out hardcore-punk, with the lounge section preceding We've Got a Bigger Problem Here
, which is a reworking of the notorious California Über Alles
. For those who are not aware, the aforementioned song resulted in the increasingly popular Neo-Nazi movement within the hardcore to scene believing that the Dead Kennedys were also of the same beliefs.
Unfortunately for them, they were wrong.
The disgust that the band felt towards this movement using their music as a support for their fascist beliefs resulted in the song Nazi Punks Fuck Off
being written, a song which would become one of the bands staple songs. This sort of frustration shown here is also vented off in songs such as Kepone Factory, which deals with the negligence towards the safety of employees who were working with the chemical. This song is actually a good example of the album's ability to submerse the listener in the current affairs of the time, be it the changing religious front or the political spectrum, with references to Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, as well as some choice words thrown at the church.
Whilst the relevance of this album and the issues discussed have declined from the importance that they once had, a casual listener can still hear the meaning and importance behind the music over 30 years after its original release. The Dead Kennedys may have faded into the dull obscurity, but the music is still powerful so many years later.