DRI: Dirty Rotten LP (on CD): CD

After numerous reissues with different mixes, different covers and assorted bonus tracks added, Beer City has released this, the Dirty Rotten EP, with its original track listing, original mix and original cover art (gotta say, I haven’t seen a “mange” cut in many a moon). Hard to believe it’s been twenty-three years since this monster was unleashed on an unsuspecting hardcore public. The thing to keep in mind is that when this was originally released as a 7” EP in 1983, precious few bands came close to the velocity these guys demonstrated on this record—and they were even faster live. By cramming twenty-two tracks onto a 7”, they also snatched the title of “We Crammed the Most Songs oOnto a A 45” champions from Canada’s The Neos, who only managed a paltry fourteen. Take that, back-bacon eaters! USA! USA! USA! Further, that speedy little slab of wax influenced a whole swath of bands, especially metalheads like Slayer and,  I’m figuring, Napalm Death, to up the ante a bit. Hell, I personally can remember my jaw hitting the floor when I first heard “Blockhead” on a late-night radio show back then and becoming an instant fan (although my brother buying the “LP” version and his insistence on playing it on 45 instead of 33 1/3 for the next decade because he thought it was “too slow” diminished its luster for me a bit). Although time, legions of apers, and the race to make music at ever greater velocity have conspired to reduce the impact of this a bit now for first-time listeners, it still remains a pummeling thing of wonder—twenty-two songs in eighteen minutes, all of it fast almost to the point of silliness, with nary a second wasted. It was a damn shame this remains their high point, as they degenerated into a bad speed metal band within three to four years of its release. Hopefully, Kurt and the boys ain’t trying to soak the hordes with full-LP prices for it, though, ‘cause no matter the format, this is still a 45’s worth of music and to pass it off as anything more is a bit disingenuous.

 –jimmy (www.beercity.com)