Dirty Rotten Imbeciles
How Not to Reissue an Album or Compile a Retrospective, example #93: Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ Greatest Hits. For fuck•s sake, is this any way to treat a legendary band?! Dubious title and track-selection squabbles aside, this compilation comes courtesy of the once-respectable/now-suspect, line-•em-up/ship-•em-out Cleopatra family, specifically its Deadline division, who are responsible for the shoddy reissue of Tiamat•s Sumerian Cry debut a couple years back (surprising that Century Media didn•t take their asses to court). That should tip off the more-astute of you, and then some. What we•re given in D.R.I.•s Greatest Hits is weak •remastering• (the original CD pressings sound as good, if not better, or at the very least louder), an all-fucked-up track listing (good thing I already own all of its contents, lest I should look like the fool), next to no liner notes (no track info and/or broad band history, but a tiny and inconsequential paragraph from somebody named •DJ Will,• presumably an old roadie/soundman of the band•s), zero graphic design (a bootleg probably would have looked better, basically because it would•ve looked like someone actually cared), and a song-selection solely focusing on their first three albums (Dirty Rotten LP, Dealing With It, and the ever-influential Crossover). It•s that lattermost element that makes me grumble the loudest and to no end, as Four of a Kind and Thrash Zone (1988 and •89, respectively) are no slouch by any means, and even as patchy and erratically recorded as their •90s output is, it•s still imminently enjoyable and certainly worth a nod. But seriously • this is Cleopatra we•re talking •bout here, folks. (Need proof? Check out all their horrendous tribute albums, piss-poor reissues, and bootleg cum official live albums • a real study in modern ineptitude if there ever was one.) However, there•s no denying the contents, as time-locked as it is, their thrash-meets-hardcore onslaught still resonating today, if not in a more vague form; consequently, •Nursing Home Blues• (from Dealing With It) still sounds as fresh today as when I heard it as a young skate-punk back in •88. Still, I can kinda understand the concept, but as for the execution? Sheesh•. Big question on everyone•s minds, though • where the hell was Rotten Records in all this? Latest D.R.I. update: played a thrashing-mad show at this year•s Milwaukee Metalfest (infinitely glad I was there).