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As Fast As It Gets - 95%

EnemyOfTheSun420, November 14th, 2010

As I said in my "Dealing With It" review, early DRI was NOT metal. And this album doesn't even have the shades of metal "Dealing With It" has. This is raw, angry hardcore punk, of the Thrashcore subgenre (which is not Crossover-thrash for those not in the know). And this was pretty much the first album of that subgenre.

In 1983, this was the fastest music in the world (and it's still pretty far up there now). No metal band could touch this, as far as speed goes, at the time (kinda like how a year before no metal band was as extreme as Discharge).

Now, enough about this albums historical significance, onto what really counts: the MUSIC. This album opens with the classic anti-war anthem "I Don't Need Society" (which was redone on "Dealing With It", along with many other songs form here). After a short "build up" intro, it kicks into some of the most intense thrashing (again, in a non-metal way) you will ever hear, and before you know, it's finished, at 1:17. And that's one of the longer songs. Only 4 songs on here reach or surpass one minute...and yet they all still manage to be catchy as fuck, in a "hyperspeed hardcore" way.

There is not much variation in tempo/feel on here, but it doesn't matter, because the vibes on here are excellent, and there still are some moments that aren't hectic and insanely fast. If it aint broke, don't fix it.

One complaint I have about this album is that the production could be better, which knocked off a couple points from my rating. Everything's still audible, and it beats the shitout of any bedroom Black Metal demo, but it's a little TOO muddy (of course totally clean production would probably be even worse in this case, though). Of course, the reason for this would probably be that they simply couldn't afford anything better...hell, this was originally an EP, not an album, and seeing as this was their official debut release, these boys certainly weren't in the big leagues at this point.

On the CD reissue of this, there are a number of bonus tracks. Most of them are not notable-some radio interview snippets, live tunes, etc-however there is also an unreleased tune "No People", early versions of "Snap" and "The Explorer" from "Dealing With It", and the entirety of the 4 song EP "Violent Pacifation" from (I believe) 1984, which are all awesome additions to this excellent album.

Overall, I'd say the standout tracks on here (ie the original album/first 22 songs) are I Don't Need Society, Commuter Man, Who Am I, Money Stinks, Yes Ma'am, Reaganomics, No Sense, and Blockhead, but they're all great songs.

In short, if you're into hyperspeed Hardcore Punk, and for whatever crazy reason don't have this yet, GET IT NOW. But if you only want metal, this is definitely not the album-and probably not the band, as even their later thrash METAL albums were still crossover-for you.