Back in the great punk-metal wars of the mid '80s, when hardcore kids were beating on longhairs in the pit and heshers boggled at Black Flag's attempts to go Sabbath, a brave few took the step of asking: are we really all that different? Dirty Rotten Imbeciles were one of those few, and not only were they at the forefront of crossover thrash, they actually spurred the genre's name with their classic '87 album Crossover. And while they've lacked the constant output of similar scene vets like Corrosion of Conformity and Agnostic Front, their steady touring schedule -- interrupted only by guitarist Spike Cassidy's battle with (and hopeful triumph over) cancer -- has kept them alive in the hearts and minds of punks, headbangers and anyone else who knows the value of crazy fast guitars and cathartic aggression.
Fri., Feb. 5, 8 p.m., 2010

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