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Founded in Houston during 1981 by guitarist Spike Cassidy D.R.I. (DIRTY ROTTEN IMBECILES) purveyed a high energy brand of Hardcore and Punk that veered toward more Metal territory with every release. Cassidy had moved from New York to Texas and put the first incarnation of the group together with vocalist Kurt Brecht, drummer Eric Brecht and bassist Dennis Johnson. The three had been working as SUBURBANITES with Spike's roommate on guitar before he left and Spike joined up as the band evolved into D.R.I. The name was inspired by the father of the Brecht brothers who would come home during a band practice and shout abuse at the group for the noise they were making, 'dirty rotten imbeciles' being one phrase he used with regularity.

D.R.I. released their debut album through their own label in 1983. This album notably included what is generally regarded to be the very first recorded example of a "blast beat" on the song 'No Sense', Eric Brecht's stacatto machine gunning of both snare and bass drum providing a blueprint for legions of following Death Metal bands. The band was then picked up by Metal Blade and concocting the breakthrough 'Dealing With It' album on the Death imprint during 1985. By this time both Dennis and Eric had quit the group, the latter joining Thrashers HIRAX, a short stint with DEATH and then the San Francisco based ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT and TWO BIT THIEF. Josh Pappé and Felix Griffin had taken their respective places. Metal Blade's Brian Slagel got to hear D.R.I. after HIRAX vocalist Katon Depena had passed on a tape enthusing about the group's potential after seeing them perform a one-off show in Los Angeles.

For the 'Dealing With It' album, only Kurt Brecht and Cassidy remained having enrolled a new rhythm section of bassist Mikey Offender and drummer Felix Griffin. Following a 1989 tour supporting GANG GREEN the band suffered a setback when bassist Josh Pappe opted to join the headline act. His replacement was ex-MANTAS bassist John Menor who joined D.R.I. in time for further touring in Britain to promote the 'Thrash Zone' album with NASTY SAVAGE acting as the support band.

Drummer Felix Griffin was announced to have quit in 1990 to be replaced by former MEGADETH drummer Chuck Beehler. However, by the time of a European tour Griffin was back in on the drum stool.

D.R.I. continued to tour although the release schedule slowed down with the last album issue being 'Full Speed Ahead', recorded with bassist Chumley Porter, in 1995. Touring in 2001 found infamous Bay Area photographer Harold 'O' Oimoen inducted as bass player for dates in August and September supported by SWORN ENEMY. Latterly a rare 7" split single with RAW POWER was issued on the Killer Release label, limited to just 500 copies. D.R.I. Would get back on the road in North America during October of 2002 for a month long bout of touring supported by Milwaukee's NEW SOCIETY OF ANARCHISTS.

During early 2004 Spike Cassidy acted as producer for the Oklahoma based EARTH A.D.'s album 'Death Toll'. German Heavy Metal band POWERGOD cut a cover version of 'I'd Rather Be Sleeping' for inclusion on their 'Long Live The Loud – That's Metal Lesson II' released through Massacre Records in July 2005.

D.R.I. were set to hook up with SUBZERO for US dates in May and June 2006. Unfortunately guitarist Spike Cassidy was diagnosed with colon cancer and the tour duly cancelled.

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