Y'know, it's pretty remarkable how many ancient hardcore bands — ones most of us thought were long gone — are still crisscrossing this great land of ours with Econoline vans and U-Haul trailers, playing shows for the faithful: Agent Orange, Agnostic Front, Sick of It All, Suicidal Tendencies, and Circle Jerks, to name but a few. Sure, jokes are made about wrinkles, back problems, bifocals, Viagra, being punk-rock grandfathers (figuratively and literally), but the crazy thing is that if you actually go see some of these crusty old lifers, more often than not they can bring it like it's still 1983 — which brings us to D.I., the SoCal punk quintet fronted by soon-to-be-50, yet seemingly ageless frontman Casey Royer. A quarter-century ago, Royer left his post as drummer of Social Distortion to form D.I., recording and touring with the band while simultaneously maintaining membership in the like-minded Adolescents. For a spell in the mid-'80s, Adolescents/Social D guitarist Rikk Agnew was also a member of D.I., but in the 20 years since his departure, the group has been through an incalculable number of lineup changes, breakups, and hiatuses. But now they're back on the road (Royer's the only original member left) and touring behind a new album, On the Western Front, which bears that Reagan-era, Orange County speed-punk sound and politically minded vitriol. "Your knowledge is power in this fascist state/Kill or be killed," Royer spews in his timeless talk-sing style. Good to see so little has changed.
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