D.R. fucking. I. If this isn’t a blast from my past I don’t know what is. Goddamn, I loved D.R.I. when I was a wee punk rock kid in the 90s. D.R.I., along with Motorhead, and Metallica were the only acceptable metal bands to listen to but D.R.I. was revered because they were the bridge between punk and metal. More distinctly than Motorhead. D.R.I. had the aggression, the hardcore punk fury, and the metal weight. The first time I heard Thrashzone it blew my mind. That’s all I needed. It was all the aggression from both sides. Subsequently, D.R.I. headlined one of the first punk shows I went to as a kid. I wasn’t even old enough to drive yet but a friends mother drove us down to the venue where the concert series “Board as Usual” was taking place, an all day punk fest featuring all the popular pop punk and (ugh) ska bands at the time. I believe that year we saw Voodoo Glow Skulls, Bouncing Souls, The Vandals, among others, but D.R.I. was headlining. I’ll never forget right before D.R.I. took the stage, what looked like an army of rough and tumble biker guys showed up for the pit and that was all fifteen year old me needed to see before deciding this pit was going to be too much for my young self to handle so we retreated to the balcony and watched the chaos unfold from there.
Now as an adult and having been engrossed in metal for over a decade and drawing the lines of influence to see where bands came from and the history surrounding genres D.R.I. holds a more meaningful place in my heart. I’m not going to try and argue they were the first to do the crossover sound. There’s equal reasoning for claiming Suicidal Tendencies, Storm Troopers of Death, Corrosion of Conformity, and even Antisect over in England could be the ones to start it all but Crossover clearly gave us the genre name and D.R.I. did it the best. Every crossover punk/thrash band that came after wants to be D.R.I. and their influence is so fucking obvious today (cough cough Powertrip). Crossover was their first album to dive headfirst into the melding of metallic/thrash elements with the hardcore punk aggression, a sound they would stick with throughout their career. It’s equal parts punk and metal. Sometimes the punk shines more, sometimes the metal. It’s a fucking classic, through and through and if you’re into bands like Powertrip and you haven’t fucking heard D.R.I. you’re about to have your brain exploded.