Monday, April 30, 2007
...But the Door is Locked From the Outside
Released in 1984, DRI's Violent Pacification was a style that had never been heard before- songs that ended before you'd realized they'd begun; machine gun fire in your brain which felt pounded on by lightning-fast drum beats; muffled sound quality that didn't matter because the barrage felt almost too intense to withstand for those who were on the outside of the hardcore scene. It was absolutley brilliant to anyone who actually listened to this kind of music at the time of its inception.
The sound of the previous album, originally pressed as a 7-inch and then re-released as a 12-inch, was found on this newer disc but had a tighter sound to it, with more obvious focus on the engineering quality of the recording.
This was at a time when the band had decided to leave the safety net of Houston, Texas and brave the unknown in California. Living in their van and eating in soup kitchens was how they got by while touring the US to support their record release.
They ended up connecting with the Rock Against Reagan tour, a tour of hardcore bands proselytizing against the Reagan administration and managed by the Yippies. This led the band to record a track for (you guessed it!) the famed P.E.A.C.E. compilation released by R Radical Records.
Bear in mind that this was prior to signing with a metal record label- Death Metal Records- and so the crowds that were attracted to their shows were quite different than the type you would see now. Although, DRI is hailed as the quintessential band that fused metal with hardcore music and helped instill a political bent within that particular crowd that hadn't been present before, one still has to analyze its true impact. The unfortunate down side to this is that social movements can be easily watered down once they are transformed into a viable commodity that can be reinterpreted and sold back to the masses.