If as of right now, July 2005, time travel was a possibility, I’d have to say the first time period I’d visit would be the 1950’s. Classic cars, drive-in’s, and doo wop, and the birth of rock‘n’roll. To me, it sounds like an exciting and fascinating time, not to mention hippies didn’t exist yet; what more could one person actually ask for? It was during this decade that Bill Haley & The Comets, Chuck Berry, and Elvis really put rock‘n’roll on the map, long before any variation of it, punk included, could ever be bastardized by bands such as Dash Rip Rock. Billed as “the best punk country band in the world,” DRR is releasing their 12th studio album in 20 years, entitled Recyclone, and it is, to put it nicely, awful.
I hear very little punk rock influence here, but then again maybe it’s just too hard to hear the influences of Iggy And The Stooges and MC5 among shouts of “don’t mess with Texas!" What I hear out of this disc more than anything else is an amalgamate of Southern rock and 80’s hair metal. Somebody please tell these guys that some guitar fuzz once in a while does not make you the Ramones. The intelligence of such 80’s metal masters as Poison and Southern rockers Lynard Skynard is exemplified in “BFE,” 'Bum fuck Egypt,' for those of you not hip to their highly intelligent brand of acronyms. The song gives a shout-out to Ted Nugent while throwing in some horrible metal riffs.
I apolgize if any of this is overwhelming, but there’s just so much wrong with this album, I get going onto one tangent then another; I’ll try to stay centered. The songs themselves have absolutely no depth to them, and they don’t stray too far into the countryside away from the verse-chorus-verse formula. The country-sounding songs offer little reprieve from the “punk” attempts on this disc, though to their credit they seem a lot more akin to the country stylings than they do playing up-tempo material. Regardless of the type of song, I was unable to find a single specific example of music that saved me from boredom; the vocals, riffs, and drumming are all 100% interchangeable from song to song, right down to the lyrics, ranging from Ronnie Van Zandt to being locked inside a liquor store. Maybe they’re onto something there, as these songs wouldn’t sound nearly as bad with half a liter of cheap whiskey in me.
The album is over an hour long, and throughout that winding course, it manages to end in the very same place it started, because it never went anywhere in the first place. I can’t even think of a demographic that would find this appealing. Fans of punk would not want anything to do with this mess, and conventional country fans would find the “punk” efforts to be just a mess of noise.
The members of this band have been making music together for two decades, and in that time, they have managed to write 12 albums, and on this 12th album, out of 20 songs, not a single one of them was able to so much as hold my attention for the entire duration. Cross-breeding of styles isn’t always a bad thing; Run DMC and Aerosmith did it, the Mars Volta do it, but Dash Rip Rock couldn’t be farther from striking gold. I’m not against the idea of mixing punk and country, but the problems start if you can’t write a decent song in either genre, let alone combining the two. My advice to you is that if you see this in a record store, in the 50 cent bargain bin, walk to the counter and bitch-slap the clerk for overpricing. Pathetic.