D.R.I. (1982-present): a Thrash Metal band from Houston, Texas, USA.


his group was founded as Dirty Rotten Imbeciles in 1982 by brothers Kurt and Eric Brecht (vocals & drums respectively), Spike Cassidy (guitar) and Dennis Johnson (bass) from the ashes of the hardcore punk rock band Suburbanites. The group started by practicing at Kurt and Eric's parents' home; the noise allegedly drew regular complaints from the brothers' father. Early in their carrer they were referred to as a "bunch of dirty rotten imbeciles"; the name stuck. Memories of these early days also led to the inspiration for the song Madman, featuring a clip of Kurt and Eric's father interrupting a band practice to complain about the noise. The act initially went under the name U.S.D.R.I. for a brief period of time before shortening it to D.R.I.

Starting as a punk rock rock outfit influenced by both British and American styles, they found a strong fan base in the thrash metal genre as that genre was being born in the early 1980s. Soon after their debut, Dirty Rotten (1983; both released as EP and then LP), they moved to the home of early American thrash metal, the San Francisco Bay area. The debut was an example of blistering punk influenced thrash metal with hardcore punk. Dealing With It (1986) saw Eric replaced with Felix Griffin and Mikey Offender taking over bass from Johnson. It was also their first recording for 'Metal Blade' before 'Roadrunner' got them for Europe on their next effort.

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Josh Pappe saw his debut on bass on the Violent Pacification EP (1984) with the relatively unnoticed 22 Songs following in 1987. The appropriately titled follow-up, Crossover (1988), was just that, an album popular in both punk rock and heavy metal genres, creating a new chapter in the so-called "Hardcore Scene" and shifting more attention onto the act's style.

As the speed metal and scenes hit their peak in the later part of the decade so did D.R.I. with the 4 Of A Kind (1988) and Thrashzone (1989) albums. The former being more traditional 80s style thrash metal, and featuring the debut of John Menor on bass, while the latter was more back to their roots. In between the albums, they would remix and re-release their Dirty Rotten LP with 4 added tracks from their Violent Pacification EP, originally done back in 1984.

Definition (1992) featured Ron Rampy taking over on drums. Live (1994) and Full Speed Ahead (1995) continued on their own 'Rotten' label in their trademark hardcore punk rock/thrash metal hybrid style; the former demonstrating Chumly Porter's bass ability. The guys realized they could go no farther, so they decided to leave with honor and quit recording while on top; they would still tour, however.

The releases were few and far between for the band while they engaged on multiple tours, until March 2006 when Cassidy was diagnosed with colon cancer, putting the band's future performances on hiatus until his recovery. Plans to release a new studio LP are also on hold until he recovered. When he did, touring resumed. During this period, the band would release only The Dirty Rotten Power EP (2001), Greatest Hits compilation (2001), Live at CBGB's Live effort (1984) and But Wait...There's More! (2016).

Greg Orr would assume bass in 2017, while Rob Rampy returned on drums in 2018.

Back on June 15, 2010 'Beer City Records' would reissue the Dirty Rotten EP, Dirty Rotten LP, Violent Pacification 7" and Dealing With It.

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