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An album with “je ne sais quoi” brilliance - 99%

morbert, October 28th, 2008

In fact this album is not tight, nor was it entirely original anymore. When emotionlessly analysing releases such as these it could be considered pretty much a mess, but a better mess than the Dirty Rotten EP. But honestly, this music was supposed to be a mess. That was the whole point. A racket with either a message or plain complaining about ones personal life.

We have here 25 pissed off songs attacking the social and political environment of D.R.I.’s members and similar early eighties punkers on a micro- and marcosociological level. In other words, they’re pissed off at their parent, school, some babes and Ronald Reagan. Nothing new under the sun and de facto just as cliché as singing about vampires, mutilation or satan but of course enjoyable as ever.

The biggest difference with the earlier Dirty Rotten & Violent Pacification EP’s? simply a slightly tighter performance, a much clearer production and incidentally some palm muted metal influenced playing. No less than three songs from the Dirty Rotten EP were re-recorded on this album (“I Don't Need Society”, “Yes Ma'am” and “Reaganomics”) and because of the sound and performance they actually are better and more enjoyable than the originals.

The D.R.I. albums I like the least are the albums on which the band thought too much about it and material started to sound too contrived. Yet it is this album, an album which is all over the place and losing a grip on itself constantly, which really is what D.R.I. actually were all about. As if the album made itself before the band could consciously start to set out a path. Of course some songs here are better than others (For instance the powerful “Couch Slouch” vs the rather generic “Marriage”) but as a whole the album is one big coherent pile of sing-a-long tunes.

Like I said, the album has a certain “je ne sais quoi” brilliance. Everythings works out and nothing sounds contrived, overdone or out of place. In other words, this might as well be their most convincing (and certainly most energetic) album to date. 1985 was a good year for breakdown filled furious hardcore punk classics with irony and playfulness thrown in. Hell, that year The Stupids released “Peruvian Vacation” and let’s not forget the Mike Muir dominated “Welcome to Venice” compilation album.

In terms of importance the album just falls in between the “Dirty Rotten EP” and the all time classic ‘Crossover’ album. However when discussing excellence this album would be part of a holy D.R.I. trinity if there ever was one and I strongly advice anyone into crossover but still discovering D.R.I. to get this album as soon as possible! Ohw, and Mikey Offender (R.I.P.) played a few notes here as well. Yes Ma’am!