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Review of the Album "Dealing With It!" by American Hardcore Punk Band Dri

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


Dealing With It! is Basically the Last Hardcore Punk Style Album by D.R.I.

Dealing With It! is the second studio album by American hardcore punk band D.R.I. Yes, notice we did say hardcore punk although the band would become a crossover thrash band in the latter part of the 1980s. This second studio album was released in 1985 during the era of the golden age of heavy metal for American metal bands. This album consists of 25 tracks for only a total of 34 minutes in length. Some of these tracks are under a minute long so this album will go by in a flash. This album has titles that have to do with major social and political issues. Dealing With It! is also an album that was released at a time when the United States wasn’t as dysfunctional as it is today in 2021. Albums like this defined the period and D.R.I. gave rise to other similar bands of the genre. D.R.I. is a band that came into the scene around the time of the other famous crossover band Suicidal Tendencies. Even though I was exposed to crossover thrash metal in the 1990s, hardcore punk is a genre that has only recently entered my music listening experience.

A Deeper Look at the Significance of the Album Dealing With It!

However, this second studio release from this Texas and California band is a kind of statement against the ills of American society. None of this is more apparent than in the song “I Don’t Need Society.” Listening to this album should remind listeners that these guys definitely influenced the crossover thrash metal band Municipal Waste. The style and guitar play are two of the biggest giveaways that this is the case. There is definitely that feeling in this album that these guys are ready to go to play the most aggressive hardcore punk of the period. Tracks such as the fun and good bass played “I’d Rather Be Sleeping” give a sense of what someone would rather do if they were wanting to avoid the responsibilities and daily hassles of life. As we know though, short of staying in the house underneath the covers there’s really no way to escape life as an adult. You can tell that there’s plenty of pent up rage and frustration expressed in this album and I think it is a sort of protest against many American policies such as being sent off into an unjust war to get rid of the other population of the chosen country (Stupid, Stupid War). These lyrical themes are expressed but quickly and briefly in this album just because the songs are usually really short in duration. It is through the medium of music that bands can bring awareness to real life issues that really matter most and D.R.I. does just that.

"I'd Rather Be Sleeping"

More Detailed Analysis About the Significance of D.R.I.'s 1985 Album

When this album was released in March of 1985 I would say it probably was a revolutionary kind of thing because it was so new and could resonate with the population. This album also shows that contrary to popular belief, the United States isn’t the greatest country on Earth. Analyzing this album, it is likely that listeners will notice that it is a message against established social norms such as a student rebelling in his school classroom when the teacher won’t allow him to use the bathroom (Yes Ma’am).

This album also brings awareness to the fact that hunger has been a huge problem in US history (Soup Kitchen). What is present on this early album from D.R.I. is fast vocal performances, fast guitars, and the bass guitar that also plays a good complementary role. This album is one of those albums that offered something different to the listener while also giving us awareness of the real life social problems that were plaguing the United States at that time. One example of this is the 45 second long “Reaganomics” which consists of just two lyrical lines. It is unlikely that this album will convince people that the United States isn’t the greatest country on Earth but in terms of punk metal albums, this one is pretty darn decent. The song “Nursing Home Blues” in the beginning with that bass guitar sound is similar in style to something we would have heard from Iron Maiden in their early years dating back to 1980 because it is fairly easy to spot the punk and blues sound in this song. The album also is trying to send the message that if we are strong enough to be able to stand up for what is right we will not be pushed around.

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© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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