Thursday, June 16, 2016

D.R.I. at the Gramercy Theatre

Kurt Brecht
The Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (often shortened to D.R.I.) formed when guitarist Spike Cassidy replaced his roommate in the hardcore outfit Suburbanites in 1982 in Houston, Texas. D.R.I. morphed into a thrashcore band as the music began to crossover from hardcore punk to thrash metal's longer, slower, and more complex arrangements. In 1983, D.R.I. relocated to San Francisco, where the musicians lived in their van and ate at soup kitchens between performances. The band went on semi-hiatus from 2006 to 2010, and presently consists of founding vocalist Kurt Brecht, Cassidy, bassist Harald Oimoen and drummer Walter "Monsta" Ryan. D.R.I.'s seventh and most recent album was 1995's Full Speed Ahead, but the band today released an EP with new material, But Wait...There's More!, on June 10, 2016.

The Gramercy Theatre was less than half filled, and by the end of the evening one had to wonder why D.R.I. is not more popular. D.R.I.'s thrashcore was finely honed and integrated, a hard driving punk augmented by a crisp metal guitar edge. The band's onstage energy quickly reached a high plateau, filled with crunching guitar chords and speedy licks that were as compelling as they were brutal. With barely a pause between songs, Brecht seldom stopped pacing the stage while shouting the lyrics dryly. The onslaught saw no reprieve until the show ended. Hardcore and thrash metal purists might have had issues on both sides of the camp, but if the two genres were ever looking for a perfect marriage, this was it.

Visit D.R.I. at www.dirtyrottenimbeciles.com.