As a shirt wearin’, desk jockeyin’, memo writin’, sellout there is nothing I like better than a good rant against The Man. And who embodies the whole concept of The Man better than your dad? no-one, that’s who!
Which is why the intro of D.R.I’s ‘Mad Man’ is just thrillingly awesome to me. The scene: a suburban home in Houston. Dramatis Personae: D.R.I and one of their fathers. Scene begins with an angry hammering at the door.
Hold on (sound of door unlocking). I didn’t know you could hear it.
No I can, that stuff hasn’t done a bit of good. Okay, the party’s over. Don’t you dummies ever understand anything? You gotta go to school with these others and dropouts? What do you care? You don’t learn a goddamn bit. What’s the matter with you?
Dad I can play.
And you, I don’t know who this guy is but …
I don’t need you at all, you come over here and I don’t want you here at night, do you understand? Well I don’t give a goddamn hell what ya … I come home to relax, I don’t want to listen to you and these other dummies!DRI ‘Mad Man’. Intro from band member’s surreptitiously taped angry dad.
First lines of the short angry song proper? ‘He’s old and cranky and he’s got white hair / He yells at us in his underwear’. Classic.
DRI Violent Pacification And More Rotten Hits 1983-1987*, was a RSD 2018 release limited to 500 copies. I had to buy it. Had to. Mostly because it was the first time I had seen anything by DRI in the flesh since the early 90’s and because I have always loved their crossover** thrashcore sounds. I know I have bored you about it before but that space and time^ when the metallers started to get off on the pure energy and release of hardcore just thrills me.
Violent Pacification does exactly what it says on the sleeve, giving you half the original EP of the same name and then some choice tracks from the Dirty Rotten EP, followed by the best of the Dealing With It! and Crossover LPs. As a bourgeois dilettante I am disappointed that this was an utterly no frills release, some liner notes would be nice and so it does end up feeling like a bit of a rushed cash-in; not one to buy if you already own any of their stuff on vinyl.
DRI peddled some ludicrously frenetic, anti-conformity, leftwing, hardcore punk blasts like ‘Who Am I?’ and ‘Commuter Man’^^ which have a certain period charm but it is when they learn to stretch out over the 60 second mark that the band get truly good. The finest early flexing of this for me is ‘Argument Then War’, which features that ace hardcore thing when it all slows down and gets deliberate, shortly before just blowing up. Delightfully moreishly moshy.
The later tunes are what give Violent Pacification some real staying power. You can pick any of ‘Five Year Plan’, ‘A Coffin’, ‘No Religion’^*, ‘Nursing Home Blues’, ‘Probation’ and the (mighty, mighty, mighty, mighty!) ‘Redline’. Basically the guys had really learned to play by this point and their sweary exuberance was then allied to some real chops. If you like thrash metal at all then spot the difference between this and, for example, early Anthrax:
So much music I love stems from this scene and whilst DRI never quite stepped it up to, fellow hardcore refugees, Suicidal Tendencies level and lacked the metal trappings to push themselves up to Big Four status, their place in the great scheme of things should be loudly hailed and revered, even through the medium of cheaply put together compilations. Maybe particularly so.
Anyway, I’m off to yell at my kids in my underwear – mostly for doing their homework, listening to classical music, being model citizens and refusing to drop out of school to form hardcore punk bands. I will leave you with a final blast from Violent Pacification:
935 Down (in the mosh pit).
P.S: I still think the secret recording of dad is just brilliant. The only other band I know of who did it and put it out was Gorkys Zygotic Mynci, on ‘Barbed Wire’ (from Patio), where a cross parent lectured them about how ‘bass sounds travel’.
P.P.S: Full Live At the Ritz vid: two thoughts a) DRI look like children! b) That really would be an insane crowd to be part of.
*because ‘Hits’ is pushing the bounds of honesty and I don’t want to add to the world wide pixel famine, I will abbreviate this as Violent Pacification from here on in – not to be confused with the 7″ single of the same name though; don’t do that, it would offend me beyond all measure.
**title of their awesome 1987 LP.
^mostly San Francisco in 1984-5, after DRI, The Dicks and Verbal Abuse moved there from Texas.
^^ha ‘Commuter Man’, you pathetic suburban wage slave! You’d never catch me … etc etc. See also ‘Suit & Tie Guy’ by DRI.
^*it may surprise you to learn that DRI were a little bit anti religion. Who’d have guessed hardcore punk would have such strong non-conformist views?