D.R.I. 2004


Live at the Kryptonite 7/15/04

by Dr. Abner Mality

This one just about passed me by, it came up so quick. But I'm glad that the ever-vigilant Sgt. Deth alerted me to the show. Thanks to his quick intervention, I caught probably the fastest show to ever play in Rockford.

It was good to see the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles back into town after their visit to Elixur a couple years back. Unfortunately, a Thursday night gig at Kryptonite doesn't draw too well, even if you are thrash legends. The turnout wasn't awful and the crowd was enthusiastic but it definitely should have been bigger to check these guys out. I attribute the anemic attendance to 3 factors:

1. The show was put together with little advance notice and there was only a week to alert people to it.

2. It was on a weeknight and that's always gonna take a toll.

3. It was in Rockford.

The Heavils kicked the show off despite the fact they played Kryptonite exactly one week prior. They delivered their usual dose of sonic hilarity, with the only real surprise being a brief snippet of Dio's "Holy Diver". Brian Carter's vocals on this were so cool that I wish they played the whole thing. Maybe on their next record? At any rate, I don't get tired of watching the Heavils, but I do get a little tired of covering their live show here. They always deliver the goods...nuff said. Look for an interview with them soon.

Next up was a band I was hitherto unfamiliar with called Strong Intention. Well, somebody find my balls rolling around Kryptonite Club, because these maniacs knocked them right off, along with most of my brains, which you will find splattered on the barroom mirror. JESUS CHRIST! These guys have to be the fastest band I have EVER seen...and that includes the likes of Napalm Death, Krisiun and Slayer, who seemed like St. Vitus next to the grinding hardcore assault of this band. I guarantee, Rockford has never seen grindcore like this, not even from the sadly missing Chaos A.D., who were pretty highspeed themselves. Strong Intention comes across like a mix between the aforementioned Napalm Death and D.R.I. themselves, with highly political lyrics. These dudes are dedicated to the fine anarchist tradition of superfast punk bands, decrying capitalist scum and corporate greed with vigor. Their lead singer looks like the last guy on Earth who should be in a band like affable, pudgy fellow who sported glasses off the stage. His hands were a complete blur on his bass and his intense, barking vocals would do any hardcore band proud. His compatriot with the "Suicidal Tendencies" ballcap delivered the gruff, growling vocals. The drummer hit the kit so hard that he seemed to be in physical pain...what a workout!

I didn't know Strong Intention before tonight, but I sure won't forget 'em now! What's great about their material is that it
drops to "mere" thrash and even slow breakdowns with enough frequency to keep everything from being a total holocaust. Song titles like "Bias in the Media", "Rat Factory" and "Monuments of Shit" give you an idea where they are coming from lyrically. This is a killer band that could emerge as grindcore leaders in America.

That left D.R.I. Before the show, I delivered copies of the last print issue of Wormwood to friendly bassist Harald Oimoen. Harald and drummer Rob Rampy seemed genuinely impressed with the article and during the set, Harald managed to yell "Thanks to Wormwood Chronicles, read Wormwood!" No, thank YOU, Harald, for delivering another relentless, blistering set of punked-up thrash metal to the faithful. Newly bald Kurt Brecht and the boys hit the stage and for the next hour, delivered blow after blow of punishing speed with hardly a let up. All the D.R.I. classics were covered..."Madman", "Nursing Home Blues", "Violent Pacification", "Thrashard", "Coffin", etc., etc.

It was a wild evening. Sarge was going nuts with the thrashing and even the Good Doctor found time to get in the pit. I even jumped off the stage unheard of event for this dedicated medical professional! Some chick jumped up on stage and licked Kurt's bald head. Finally, I got my knee crunched pretty good up against the stage. A casualty of war...

It was a lot of fun. The crowd was not overwhelming, but everybody was into this show with maximum energy, including D.R.I. Members of Strong Intention were seen moshing in the pit as well. If anybody was disappointed tonight, I didn't know it. I just wish some of the regulars of the Rockford punk scene could have found the energy to get off their asses and check out a show as intense as this. I had to get up next morning and go to work. If I can do it, anybody can do it.

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