The Dirty Rotten CD
Beer City Records
During the formative years of American Hardcore, few bands stood 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 a 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 instrumental skill whatsoever, crank the amps past twelve, play as fast as you can, scream your ass off for thirty seconds, slap on an in-vogue, anarchic, introverted, laugh-till-it-hurts label, and twenty tracks and ten minutes later, you got an album. We’ve got a word for them today: Anal Cunt.
The Dirty Rotten CD returns 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. Thus “Dirty Rotten Imbeciles” were born, and with them, an impenetrable brand of ill-timed noise-core that eventually gave rise to a new underground movement of equally embraceable, if minimalist, talents like the Crumbsuckers, the Cro-Mags and the Circle Jerks. D.R.I. has 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” and “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, only now with an additional 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 included are five enhanced tracks, 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 do so (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, a tour and even a new album later in the year.