Thursday, February 11, 2010


Written by by Steve Huey/Allmusic

D.R.I. were formed in Houston, TX, in May 1982, evolving out of a defunct hardcore band called the Suburbanites. Singer Kurt Brecht, drummer Eric Brecht (his brother), and bassist Dennis Johnson had all played in that outfit, and with new guitarist Spike Cassidy in tow, they renamed themselves Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, after a frequent insult from the Brechts' father (who objected vehemently to their rehearsals).

The band was soon performing live around Houston, and before the end of the year, they issued a 22-song debut, Dirty Rotten EP, on their own Rotten label. Pressed in limited quantities, it was reissued as a 12" LP in 1983, appropriately retitled Dirty Rotten LP. The wider exposure for this version helped make the group's name in the punk underground, and after a supporting tour that year, they relocated to San Francisco.

The going was rough at first, and bassist Johnson quit to return home to Houston. He was replaced by Sebastian Amok for a tour with the Dead Kennedys, after which Amok was in turn replaced by Josh Pappé for the 1984 EP Violent Pacification. Eric Brecht also left the band later that year to get married; he would soon join Hirax. In the meantime, D.R.I. replaced him with Felix Griffin. During the recording of the band's second album, 1985's Dealing With It, Pappé took a leave of absence to deal with a drug problem.

Mikey Offender, of the Offenders, filled in for him during the remainder of the sessions, and the album was released on the Death label. With Hirax's help, D.R.I. scored a deal with Metal Blade, and a substantial buzz built around the group, especially when Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo praised them in an interview.

D.R.I.'s Metal Blade debut arrived in 1987 in the form of the boundary-blurring Crossover, whose title made their punk-metal fusion ambitions crystal clear. Their songs were growing from short bursts of speed into full-fledged, multisectioned compositions, and their unification of the two genres was the most seamless of their career. On the 1988 follow-up, 4 of a Kind, the metal influences began to predominate, even if the band's hardcore roots were still audible. Buoyed by the video for "Suit and Tie Guy," 4 of a Kind became the first D.R.I. album to make the national charts.

The following year, Pappé accepted an offer to join Gang Green, and was replaced in D.R.I. by John Menor, formerly of Mantas. Menor made his debut on 1989's Thrash Zone, the band's most metallic offering yet, and one that was also widely acclaimed among their best. "Beneath the Wheel" and "Abduction" landed some airplay on MTV, and the album became their second straight to chart.


Dirty Rotten EP (Ep,1982)
Dirty Rotten LP (Full-length, 1983)
Violent Pacification (EP, 1984)
Dealing With It! (Full-length, 1985)
Live at the Olympic (Video/VHS, 1986)
Crossover (Full-length, 1987)
Live At The Ritz (Video/VHS, 1988)
Manifest Destiny (Single, 1988)
4 of a Kind (Full-length, 1988)
You Think For Yourself (Single, 1988)
Thrash Zone (Full-length, 1989)
Definition (Full-length, 1992)
Live (Live album, 1994)
Full Speed Ahead (Full-length, 1995)
Live at the Ritz (DVD, 2001)
The Dirty Rotten Power EP (EP, 2001)
Greatest Hits (Best of/Compilation, 2001)
The Dirty Rotten CD (Best of/Compilation, 2002)
Live at CBGB'S 1984 (DVD, 2005)
Live at CBGB's 1984 (Live album, 2005)
Skating to Some Fucked Up Shit (Best of/Compilation, 2008)


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