Top 10 Dirty Rotten Imbeciles Songs

Dirty Rotten Imbeciles Songs

Feature Photo: Vladimir, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our top 10 Dirty Rotten Imbeciles songs list digs deep into the music of an American band known for its blend of hardcore punk with thrash metal influences. Dirty Rotten Imbeciles was formed in 1982 after the breakup of a hardcore band that went under the moniker The Suburbanites. Bassist Dennis Johnson and the Brecht brothers, Eric (drummer) and Kurt (lead singer) had built some musical chemistry following their stint as members of The Suburbanites.

Spike Cassidy (recruited as the band’s original guitarist) was the missing piece to Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ musicianship and attitude for the band’s new journey. Since its formation, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (often abbreviated/known as D.R.I.) has issued seven studio albums and three extended plays (including the split EP with Raw Power). Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ work remains a significant pillar to the development of crossover thrash, a genre coined in regards to thrash metal and hardcore punk fusion.

Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ Career Beginnings

One year after the band’s formation, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ members returned with the record Dirty Rotten LP. The album is among the seminal works in the fusion of hardcore punk and thrash metal. Dirty Rotten LP is home to some of the best D.R.I. songs including “I Don’t Need Society,” “Who Am I,” “Reaganomics,” and “No Sense.” D.R.I.’s first record set the band at the forefront of bands that cut made way for the continuous evolution of the ‘80s hardcore punk scene with its thrash metal inflections.

Dirty Rotten LP was followed up by the extended play Violent Pacification, issued in 1984. The four-track extended play is home to notable musical gems including “Couch Slouch” and the title track. “Violent Pacification,” the EP title track was covered by the thrash metal band Slayer, featuring on the band’s 1996 LP Undisputed Attitude.

Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ Album Releases over the Years

In 1985, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles released their sophomore studio album Dealing with It! The album was issued through Metal Blade Records, (once) home to The Black Dahlia Murder, Cult of Luna, Cannibal Corpse, Killswitch Engage, God Dethroned, Mercyful Fate, and System Divide. Dealing with It! once again showcased Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ blend of thrash with its hardcore punk roots.

“Nursing Home Blues,” “Karma,” “God is Broke,” “I’d Rather Be Sleeping,” and “Mad Man” are some of the freshly released best Dirty Rotten Imbeciles songs from the album. Dealing with It! was the first (among the two) full-length studio albums by Dirty Rotten Imbeciles to have made it to the Billboard 200 mainstream chart, peaking at position one hundred and sixteen.

By the mid- ‘80s, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles had already earned its respect as one of the progenitors of crossover thrash. As a result, the band went ahead to issue its third studio album Crossover in 1987. Crossover was issued through Metal Blade with guitarist Spike Cassidy co-producing the album alongside Bill Metoyer. As a record producer/engineer, Metoyer is best known for his phenomenal work with Morbid Angel, Slayer, Fates Warning, Lizzy Borden, Trouble, and Corrosion of Conformity. “The Five Year Plan,” “No Religion,” “Probation,” and “Hooked” are the top songs by D.R.I. from the LP.

4 of a Kind, issued in 1988, marked the band’s fourth studio album. The album was primarily a crossover thrash record featuring popular songs by D.R.I. including “Suit and Tie Guy” and “Shut-Up!” Later in 1989, D.R.I. issued their fifth studio album Thrash Zone, often regarded as the band’s most successful release. The album was the second and last album by Dirty Rotten Imbeciles to make it on the Billboard 200, peaking at number one hundred and forty. Thrash Zone is home to some of the best D.R.I. songs including “Thrashard,” “Abduction,” “Beneath the Wheel,” and “Kill the Words.”

In 1992, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles released their sixth studio album Definition. The thirteen-track album featured notable musical gems including “Don’t Ask,” “Let It Go,” and “Acid Rain.” Dirty Rotten Imbeciles went on tour with the thrash metal band Testament to support its new release Definition. The 1995 Spike Cassidy-produced album Full Speed Ahead marked D.R.I.’s final studio album.

Full Speed Ahead was a fairly successful record featuring top musical gems including “Syringes in a Sandbox,” “No End,” and “They Don’t Care.” The Dirty Rotten Power, a split album with Raw Power, and the EP But Wait… There’s More! are the major releases by D.R.I. since the band’s final full-length studio album Full Speed Ahead.

Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ Legacy

Dirty Rotten Imbeciles was among the pioneering acts in the development of crossover thrash. While the band never made it big in the mainstream/commercially, it cut the way for other crossover thrash-influenced acts such as Stormtroopers of Death, Suicidal Tendencies, and Corrosion of Conformity. Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ music went ahead to inspire multiple artists/bands including Municipal Waste, Cryptic Slaughter, Nuclear Assault, and Vio-lence. Bands like Anthrax, Slayer, Kreator, and Dark Angel have also mentioned Dirty Rotten Imbeciles to have impacted on their sounds at some point. Here we present the all-time best Dirty Rotten Imbeciles songs.

#10- No Religion

Ushering us to the top ten D.R.I. songs list is the impressive hit “No Religion.” The song is featured on the band’s third studio album Crossover. “No Religion” is a standout track that showcases Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ success in their experimentation of blending thrash metal with their earlier hardcore punk sound. The song is a catchy release often distinguished by its slamming hot basslines.

“No Religion” has its lyrics feeling a tad bit agnostic, especially with the singer crooning the lines, “I’ve made my decision, don’t want your religion.” However, keen scrutiny of the lyrics points towards the band’s displeasure with the conduct of the “believers.” Questioning social disarrays such as “deceptive religions” is quite a hardcore punk move by D.R.I., something we saw with quite a number of hardcore bands like Agnostic Front.

#9- Suit and Tie Guy

“Suit and Tie Guy” is the most sought-after hit off D.R.I.’s fourth studio album 4 of a Kind. The song stands out thanks to its uncompromising yet uplifting thrash metal riffs. “Suit and Tie Guy” is one of the most daunting high-octane thrash metal-influenced ballads. Like the song “Acid Rain,” D.R.I.’s most popular song on Definition, “Suit and Tie Guy” features remarkable thrash metal-inflecting basslines. “Suit and Tie Guy” was the first song by Dirty Rotten Imbeciles to feature a music video.

#8- The Five Year Plan

Coming in at number eight on our ten best Dirty Rotten Imbeciles songs list is the hard-hitting track “The Five Year Plan.” The song serves as the album opener to Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ third studio album Crossover. “The Five Year Plan” is a brilliant and energetic four-minute track that proves to be the embodiment of the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ musicianship on the album Crossover.

The song’s instrumentation brings D.R.I.’s thrash metal sound at its best! However, Kurt Brecht takes us back to the band’s hardcore punk roots. A fast tempo, striking guitar riffs, and catchy vocal lines are the most notable elements of this crossover thrash hit. “The Five Year Plan” has since its release become one of D.R.I.’s concert staples.

#7- Nursing Home Blues

Thanks to the impressive record Dirty Rotten LP, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles proved worth a recording deal with Metal Blade Records. Right after signing a recording deal with the label, D.R.I. went ahead to issue their sophomore studio album Dealing with It! The album is home to our seventh pick “Nursing Home Blues.” Like most of the songs on Dealing with It! “Nursing Home Blues” signaled Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ move to more thrash-ier metal sounds albeit without compromising the band’s hardcore punk roots.

#6- Couch Slouch

Number six on our ten best Dirty Rotten Imbeciles songs is the hit “Couch Slouch.” The song was first issued on the band’s 1984 extended play Violent Pacification. “Couch Slouch” would later be featured on the band’s sophomore studio album Dealing with It! Spanning slightly over a minute, “Couch Slouch” is an emblem of Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ later ventures into the fast and loud (yet impressive) crossover thrash. “Mad Man,” a song from Dealing with It! is comparable to “Couch Slouch,” in terms of the tempo, intensity, sound influences, and even length!

#5- Abduction

Earlier in 1989, bassist Josh Pappe left D.R.I. to fill up Joe Gittleman’s position at Gang Green following Joe’s dismissal and return to The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Despite the loss of the band’s most prominent bassist, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ members still managed to achieve great musicianship with Josh’s replacement John Menor. John Menor was part of Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ lineup on the band’s album Thrash Zone.

Introducing us to the awe-inspiring bass skills of John Menor is the hit “Abduction.” Despite is listing as the last song on Thrash Zone, “Abduction” is quite a remarkable hit by the band. John Menor marks his presence in this song with his impressive basslines. The song’s theme is centered around the abduction of children. “Abduction” had its music video receive some airplay on MTV.

#4- I’d Rather Be Sleeping

Harder, heavier, and blistering fast! These are the three words/phrases that fully describe the hit “I’d Rather Be Sleeping.” The song is one of the most sought-after crossover thrash tracks off the band’s sophomore studio album Dealing with It! “I’d Rather Be Sleeping” was later covered by Agoraphobic Nosebleed and North Side Kings. Anthrax issued “Snap/I’d Rather Be Sleeping,” a cover of D.R.I.’s hits “Snap” and “I’d Rather Be Sleeping” as a bonus track off the band’s eighth LP Volume 8: The Threat is Real.

#3- Beneath the Wheel

The third song on our ten best Dirty Rotten Imbeciles songs list is the terrific hit “Beneath the Wheel.” “Beneath the Wheel” is featured on the band’s fifth full-length studio album Thrash Zone. Spanning over five minutes, the song is one of D.R.I.’s longer and more involved records (especially compared to the fast and short hits like “I’d Rather Be Sleeping” and “Couch Slouch”).

It is the thunderous thrash metal influences in songs like “Beneath the Wheel” that finds us placing Dirty Rotten Imbeciles under the same category as Suicidal Tendencies and Corrosion of Conformity—Bands that helped take crossover thrash to the mainstream. “Beneath the Wheel” had its music video regularly played on MTV. The song featured on the soundtrack of the 2009 skateboarding video game Skate 2.

#2- I Don’t Need Society

“I Don’t Need Society” is one of the most sought-after early recordings by Dirty Rotten Imbeciles. Initially, the song was featured on the band’s debut studio album Dirty Rotten LP, an album that proved to be a seminal record to Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ crossover thrash sound. “I Don’t Need Society” would later be featured on the band’s sophomore studio album Dealing with It!

The song manages to pack immense thrash metal elements amidst the hardcore roots making it a true masterpiece. “I Don’t Need Society” was later covered by the American grindcore band Agoraphobic Nosebleed in 2005 on Bestial Machinery (Discography Volume One), a record that also featured the band’s cover of Corrosion of Conformity’s hit “Hungry Child.”

#1- Thrashard

It is not a surprise or mistake that “Thrashard” made it to the top of our ten best Dirty Rotten Imbeciles songs list! First of all, the song is featured on D.R.I.’s most successful album Thrash Zone where it serves as the lead track. Secondly, “Thrashard” is the embodiment of Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ career as a crossover thrash act—The song’s title also stands as a perfect emblem of Dirty Rotten Imbeciles’ sound.

“Thrashard” has speedy guitar riffs and ferocious drumming that complement the gruff vocals of Kurt Brecht. The lyrics to the song are centered around the thrill of being in a mosh pit. “Thrashard” is a perfect slam dancing anthem thanks to its lyrical theme, vicious beats, and pulsating tempo which ooze unadulterated energy!

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