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This is my personal favorite of the two hardcore albums that D.R.I. did. This is where D.R.I. started to experiment with some metal and thrash elements as you can really tell in some of these riffs (See: Karma). The songs also got a bit longer here, on the previous album there was about 4 or 5 songs over a minute and here there's 16! So, you can tell that they started to progress a bit. Even then, they still remained a hardcore band.
We open up with "Snap" which is a classic hardcore song. That's the only way to describe it. Then we lead into "I'd Rather be Sleeping" which is one of my personal favorite D.R.I. songs. It opens up with a little bass fill which is fucking awesome, then pure speed in the verse and the catchy as all hell chorus... IN MY BED! CRASHED OUT! Then we have "Marriage" which like Snap, is a classic hardcore song. As for the guitar work on it, it's the usual power chord progression but there is a string bend moment in there which D.R.I. tend to have it quite a few songs on their first two albums which really separate it from some other hardcore bands who ONLY use simple power chord progressions. Just thought i'd give you an idea of the first few tracks on here.
Kurt's vocals here are no different than before, his voice never changes. His voice as always had a thrash edge to it mixed with the hardcore style they had which I think gave them a metal feel in the early days, at least that's what my ears hear. The lyrics are pretty typical for hardcore punk. Political, anti-government, personal issues etc. "Mad man" has my personal favorite lyrics on this album. Pretty fun to hear Kurt and his dad fight in the beginning too. His dad sounds like a real dick though, I gotta say!
The guitar work is your usual hardcore punk but at the same time... very unique. There's lots of guitar breaks with string bends and little solos (see: Shame) which are very different than other hardcore bands. The guitar is extremely fast, so even though it may not be super technical guitar playing, the fact that Spike can move up and down the neck so quickly while doing power chords proves that he was one of the more talented hardcore guitarists. Considering a lot of other bands in the genre stayed in one spot on the neck and never moved drastically. There is also a lot of thrashy riffs here but mainly in "Karma" and "Argument then War" which are some of the best songs on here.
The bass work is fucking awesome. It has a real distorted sound, kind of like Lemmy's from Motorhead. The bass intro in "I'd Rather be Sleeping" is really awesome and the bass really stands out in "Soup Kitchen" and "Slit my Wrist" has a really cool bass line in the beginning too. There's a lot of hardcore bands who completely leave the bass out of the mix which is a real shame and D.R.I. definitely didn't follow that.
The drums are fast as hell like all D.R.I. albums. It's hardcore punk drumming, hell, that says enough!
To sum this album up, it's awesome. No real flaws except some of the songs aren't that good and probably could have been improved but oh well. This was D.R.I.'s best hardcore punk album. LISTEN TO IT!
Standout tracks -
I'd Rather be Sleeping
I Don't Need Society
Argument then War