Metal Blade Records
Picking up where bands like Bad Brains, Cro-Mags and Dead Kennedy’s had left off, by the end of the 80’s, D.R.I. had built up a large fan base with their infusion of hardcore punk, thrash metal and attitude. Alongside their peers Suicidal Tendencies, M.O.D. and Stormtroopers of Death, D.R.I. helped to bring the crossover genre to the masses. This was not an instant process and the band worked endlessly and tirelessly in the sweat box dive bars of Texas releasing the strong and highly influential albums ‘Dealing With It!’, ‘Crossover’ and ‘4 Of A Kind’ before reaching their pinnacle of success with the their 1989 classic ‘Thrash Zone’.
It is no secret that by the time D.R.I. released ‘Thrash Zone’, they were working to template and why wouldn’t they? That skeleton frame had served the band perfectly over the previous seven years, not only did their fans lap it up, but it did attract huge amounts of new fans into the D.R.I. fold. Yes, the production of ‘Thrash Zone’ is not great, but an overproduced crossover album just wouldn’t work, by 1989, let the glam, thrash and hard rock movements waste their time in the studio with big name producers when guitarist Spike Cassidy can do it himself. This gives the album the raw integrity that is needed within this genre and it is no wonder that after building on the success of their previous four albums that ‘Thrash Zone’ broke the band into the mainstream with one of the highlights of the album ‘Beneath the Wheel’. Furthermore, ‘Thrash Zone’ is not a one song album, ‘Gun Control’, ‘Kill The Words’, ‘Enemy Within’ and the crossover anthem ‘Thrashard’ all stand tall and show why this is the bands most commercially successful album to date.
The sheer number of miles touring that the band had put under the belt since their formation had by this point begun to affect the song writing and although there are songs here that are some of best that D.R.I have written, some of these songs fall short of the mark of the bands previous work. However, as a commercial pinnacle, ‘Thrash Zone’ is a great album and a fantastic place to start for those looking to not only explore the genre but the band itself.