|D.R.I./Moral Dilemma/Mutator - Cardiff, Bogiez - 22nd July 2012|
|Written by Darrel Sutton|
|Tuesday, 31 July 2012 04:00|
You can gauge the status D.R.I. still hold in the music world firstly by the number of old faces that come out of the woodwork when they come to town and secondly by the number of people that you never realised were fans of the band. They might not have released a new album since 1995, or any kind of new material since a briefly leaked demo track in 2004, but they still have enormous pulling power based on the legendary status of albums like 'Dealing With It' and the genre-defining 'Crossover'. There's also the key factor that despite numerous personnel changes in their rhythm section, founding members Kurt Brecht and Spike Cassidy have been there through it all; good times, bad times and, in Spike's case, some very serious health issues. So when they book themselves into the compact and bijou Bogiez, there's only one place to be on a Sunday night.
But before the main event, there's the matter of a couple of tasty supports to whet the appetite. First up are local thrashers Mutator, and despite a pity-inducingly short slot they rip through some choice cuts to get everyone warmed up. 'End Of The World' gives the night a riff-drenched start, while 'Zombiecidal Maniac' and 'Fields Of Endless Pain' show that Stoo, Sam and Tweak should be bothering the ears of a much wider audience. With a sound that is, quite frankly, "fucking ripping" they leave both the uninitiated and the "I told you they were fucking good" brigade well satisfied with their all too brief set.
Next up are Moral Dilemma, and despite a Johnny H warning that the band can be a bit piratey, I'm actually pleased to announce that Crass-core is alive and well and being blasted from the backline of the London trio. With guitarist Craig and bassist Chloe mixing the vocal duties, the overall attack of their songs is spot-on for the most part, with the melodic undertones and Chloe's vocals bringing to mind the mighty To What End? in places (minus the D-Beat obviously). The only complaint I'd level is that, as the set progressed, whilst they didn't drop in a duff song, one or two sort of skipped by unnoticed. That said, in set highlight 'Spread The Vote, Spoil The Ballot' they certainly demonstrate an uncanny knack to knock out some great balls-out tunes.
As D.R.I. finally began to sound check and eventually lined up to kick off I have to confess I had goosebumps. But those are soon replaced by the adrenalin rush that hits you as Kurt stares into the packed crowd and utters the legendary question "Who Am I?" And so it begins. Really, D.R.I. shows should be prescribed on the National Health, as they are a cure for all ills. As they crash through 25 songs in barely an hour, you remember just why the band has been so influential and legendary over the years. I mean when Slayer list you as an influence, there's no more to say really. Anyway by time the band have followed up the opener with the rapid-fire trio of 'Slumlord', 'Dead In A Ditch' and 'Suit And Tie Guy' the floor in front of the stage has become a pit of epic proportions. The fact it grows and lasts until the last note is further testament to the appeal of the band. It's almost embarrassing to admit that you actually forget just how fucking awesome blast-fests like 'A Coffin', 'Soup Kitchen', 'Couch Slouch' and '(I'd Rather Be) Sleeping' are when modern music blasts you with the new faster, heavier, faster, heavier. It just goes to show that class is permanent. And when they knock out some of the thrashier stuff from their latter albums like 'Thrashard' and 'Acid Rain' you realise that they have been imitated by many but matched by few.
As a huge number of the crowd seem to be singing along to every word the band leave the very best towards the end of the set, with a blistering 'I Don't Need Society' getting everyone going just a little bit more mental, before they sign off with the peerless thrash-out trio of 'Manifest Destiny', 'Violent Pacification' and 'Five Year Plan'. As Kurt barks out the closing mantra of "I win, I win, I win....." you think actually as long as there's D.R.I. we all win. Fucking priceless.
Oh, and they've still got the coolest merch in the world as well!
[Photos by Johnny H, idiot dancing by Zoot]
There's plenty of D.R.I. for you to check out over on Amazon.co.uk