Dealing With It!: D.R.I.

Rating: 90%

DRI_-_Dealing_with_ItOne genre that I love is Hardcore Punk, especially when that genre crosses over to Trash Metal. This is exactly what D.R.I. was doing when this album came out in 1985. Several of the songs on this record were on the previous Dirty Rotten and Violent Pacification albums.

This album also contains versions of songs that have different lyrics or the rhythm sections are slowed. Either way, this is a great album to have that demonstrates how a Hardcore Punk band develops that Trash Metal sound, considering their following album was called Crossover.

Spike Cassidy has developed some very nice leads and solos that will be an important key once the band has officially gone over to Metal. He has also created some very good riffs. I love the vocals of Kurt Brecht. Felix Griffin throws out some hellish beats on those skins. Mikey Offender bass lines really adds to the overall harmony to the music. Tracks 

What separates this album from the previous records is the song structures themselves. There is a good mixture of fast tempos and mid tempos where as the previous albums were super fast. Either way, this album is an important piece of Heavy Metal history. 

Track Listing:

1. “Snap” 1:10
2. “I’d Rather Be Sleeping” 1:12
3. “Marriage” 0:53
4. “Yes Ma’am” 1:56
5. “Soup Kitchen” 2:02
6. “Mad Man” 1:40
7. “Stupid, Stupid War” 0:26
8. “Counter Attack” 1:02
9. “Couch Slouch” 1:26
10. “God Is Broke” 1:07
11. “Karma” 2:16
12. “Nursing Home Blues” 3:50
13. “I Don’t Need Society” 1:36
14. “Give My Taxes Back” 0:56
15. “The Explorer” 1:36
16. “Reagonomics” 0:46
17. “How to Act” 1:10
18. “Shame” 1:09
19. “Argument Then War” 3:23
20. “Evil Minds” 0:55
21. “Slit My Wrist” 0:30
22. “Busted Again” 0:54
23. “Equal People” 0:51
24. “On My Way Home” 1:00
25. “Bail Out” 0:44



The Joke’s on You: Excel

Rating: 75%

Exceljokesonyou.jpgIn 1989, Excel released their follow up “The Joke’s On You.” It’s more or less the same formula they used on their 1987 debut. It retains some of that Hardcore Punk influence that so many Cross-over Thrash bands contained. The only difference here, is that this album was released on the eve that Grunge would take over the mainstream scene. Because of that, many people will fail to remember these guys.

Excel was up of just four musicians who knew how to write and perform some very decent Thrash Metal music. Lead vocalist Dan Clements has a similar vocal style to that of D.R.I. and Suicidal Tendencies. Guitarist Adam Siegel can produce some very nice riffs and leads. The bass guitar work by Shaun Ross is decent. Throwing out change up tempos and good beats is drummer Greg Saenz.

Lyrically, the vocals are almost boarder line poems mixed with a tad bit of Rap. Musically, it’s heavy with some mellow areas that help to break up the mixture of the music. There’s nothing new on this album that hasn’t been done before. Musically, it’s decent. Production wise, it’s better than their first. It’s just a great piece of history from the 1980’s that can stand among great Thrash Metal bands like Exodus and Overkill.

Track listing:

Side one
“Drive” (2:27)
“Shadow Winds” (4:17)
“Fired (You’re)” (3:16)
“Tapping into the Emotional Void” (4:20)
“Affection Blends with Resentment” (3:56)
“Seeing Insane” (3:18)

Side two
“My Thoughts” (3:19)
“I Never Denied” (5:19)
“Message in a Bottle” (2:51)
“Given Question” (3:53)
“The Stranger” (2:53)

Bigger Than The Devil: S.O.D.

Rating: 70%

Stormtroopers_of_Death-Bigger_than_the_Devil.jpgIn 1992, the boys were back in the studio once more with vocalist Billy Milano, guitarist Scott Ian, bassist Dan Lilker, and drummer Charlie Benante. This time resulted in the release of “Bigger Than The Devil.”

Although, not as good as their first release, this record has it’s moments. I love the songs “Kill The Assholes”, “Celtic Frosted Flakes”, and “The Song That Doesn’t Go Fast.” But there is a repeat of material that is identical to their first release such as “Noise That’s What.”

Musically, this album has a lot of fast songs that combines Hardcore Punk and Thrash Metal. Tons of fast guitar riffs and silly lyrics. But, this is still an album that is worth a listen and worth to have.

Track listing:

1. “Bigger than the Devil” 2:29
2. “The Crackhead Song” 1:47
3. “Kill the Assholes” 2:51
4. “Monkeys Rule” 1:46
5. “Skool Bus” 0:36
6. “King at the King / Evil Is In” 2:20
7. “Black War” 2:26
8. “Celtic Frosted Flakes” 1:15
9. “Charlie Don’t Cheat” 0:24
10. “The Song That Don’t Go Fast” 1:52
11. “Shenanigans” 2:17
12. “Dog on the Tracks” 0:04
13. “Xerox” 0:54
14. “Make Room, Make Room” 3:31
15. “Free Dirty Needles” 2:36
16. “Fugu” 0:07
17. “Noise That’s What” 1:11
18. “We All Bleed Red” 2:33
19. “Frankenstein and His Horse” 0:21
20. “Every Tiny Molecule” 1:03
21. “Aren’t You Hungry?” 3:18
22. “L.A.T.K.C.H.” 0:27
23. “Ballad of Michael H.” 0:13
24. “Ballad of Phil H.” 0:08
25. “Moment of Truth”

Speak English Or Die: Storm Troopers of Death (S.O.D.)

Rating: 90%

437581.jpgA side project with a few members of Anthrax, S.O.D. released their first record in 1985 called “Speak English Or Die.” The band featured Anthrax members Scott Ian on guitars, and Charlie Benante on drums. It also featured ex-Anthrax bassist Dan Lilker. On vocals was Billy Milano who played with Dan Lilker. The formation of S.O.D. and the release of this album helped to bridge Hardcore Punk and Thrash Metal together. S.O.D. was one of the first bands to do this.

Musicianship is very good. Musically, this album is aggressive, loud, fast, and crude. The songs are mostly short coming in under two minutes. It has crunching riffs, raw noise, weird tempos, some lead solos, and lots of action. Lyrically, it’s all fun and games with no serious lyric structures. This album represents both the Punk world and the Heavy Metal worlds equally. In fact, if the Punk and Metal worlds collide, this is exactly what it should sound like.

Track listing:

1. “March of the S.O.D.” 1:27
2. “Sargent D and the S.O.D.” 2:23
3. “Kill Yourself” 2:11
4. “Milano Mosh” 1:32
5. “Speak English or Die” 2:24
6. “United Forces” 1:53
7. “Chromatic Death” 0:43
8. “Pi Alpha Nu” 1:09
9. “Anti-Procrastination Song” 0:06
10. “What’s that Noise” 1:00
11. “Freddy Krueger” 2:32
12. “Milk” 1:54
13. “Pre-Menstrual Princess Blues” 1:20
14. “Pussy Whipped” 2:14
15. “Fist Banging Mania” 2:04
16. “No Turning Back” 0:52
17. “Fuck the Middle East” 0:27
18. “Douche Crew” 1:35
19. “Hey Gordy!” 0:07
20. “Ballad of Jimi Hendrix” 0:05
21. “Diamonds and Rust (Extended Version)” 0:02

U.S.A. for M.O.D.: M.O.D.

Rating: 80%

Mod_usaforIn 1987, M.O.D. released their debut album “U.S.A. for M.O.D.”  Riding off the name sake of S.O.D., vocalist Billy Milano, guitarist Tim McMurtrie, bassist Ken Ballone, and drummer Keith Davis formed Method of Destruction aka M.O.D. Scot Ian of Anthrax helped to produce this album.

M.O.D. is a cross over thrash band whose sound mixes thrash metal with hardcore punk. The lyrics are explicit, humorous and sometimes just down right goofy. You mix that with the style of thrash metal coming from the 1980’s and you have a pretty good record.

Musically, this album is really good. All instrumentation is clearly heard from the guitar work to the bass and drums. It’s mixed really well in that department. Vocally, it’s very strong. There’s lots of heavy and fast guitar riffs on this album. The guitar is very crunchy. There’s a lot of work going on, on this album. Several of the songs are over  two and half and three minutes long. Many of those are very good songs with a very strong trashy sound or feel to it. Others that come in under one minute or even under thirty seconds and that is where the album begins to falter if you’re into thrash. There’s even an acoustic guitar being used on “Odd to Harry.” While “Short but Sweet” features no instrumentation. Some of the music follows very closely to the free form of punk.

I gave this record an 80% rating because some of the material was used in Billy’s former band S.O.D. Example, “That Noise.” Rather than bring over some of the S.O.D., Billy and his band mates could have used that humor on something new. Other than that, I really enjoyed this album from the music to the humor of the lyrics that are often vulgar and obscene.

Track listing:

“Aren’t You Hungry?” – 3:25
“Get a Real Job” – 2:10
“I Executioner” – 2:31
“Don’t Feed the Bears” – 1:03
“Ballad of Dio” – 0:11
“Thrash or be Thrashed” – 0:51
“Let Me Out” – 1:39
“Bubble Butt” – 0:43
“You’re Beat” – 2:15
“Bushwackateas” – 0:19
“Man of Your Dreams” – 3:40
“That Noise” – 0:13
“Dead Men/Most/Captain Crunch” – 3:30
“Jim Gordon” – 2:39
“Imported Society” – 1:46
“Spandex Enormity” – 5:27
“Short But Sweet” – 0:06
“Parents” – 1:39
“Confusion”/”You’re X’ed” – 2:48 (written by The Faith)
“A.I.D.S.” – 2:00
“Ruptured Nuptuals” – 0:13
“Ode to Harry” – 1:31
“Hate Tank” – 2:20