DRDF: It’s a New Reality; or, Dorm Room Rock, Circa 1987

So, in high school I was in a band called DRDF, which was short for Dead Rats Don’t Fly, which was formed because our friend Tommy Kim wanted to record some songs he’d written in order to send a cassette of them out with his college applications (spoiler: It worked in at least one case). I played drums and contributed lyrics, most notably to a song called “It’s a New Reality.” The EP of songs was recorded and placed on about 10 cassettes total (one each for the band members; one each for the college applications), and since this was all 33 years ago now, they were all promptly lost to history.

Or so I thought! Turns out one band member had kept his cassette, and very recently he ripped the music on it into digital form and — importantly for this piece — sent the MP3 of our EP to me. And now, because it amuses me to do so, I’m sharing one of those songs with you, the aforementioned “It’s a New Reality.”

How does it sound? Well, pretty much as you would expect a band of 17-year-old boys in 1987, recorded onto C-90 tapes, to sound like: Terrible! But also, I have to say, awesome. Awesomely terrible. Terribly awesome. You get the idea.

I am positively delighted to be able to listen to this song again, and the other ones, which I will at some point get around to posting as well (or at least, putting online). In the meantime, enjoy 17-year-old me, whacking away at the drums.

20 Comments on “DRDF: It’s a New Reality; or, Dorm Room Rock, Circa 1987”

  1. Hmm. Cars with a Van Halen guitar solo.

    At least you’re on the beat (except the one rough spot).

  2. And now, after a listen…

    Sorta like The Ramones got drunk with The Cars. I have heard many a band do worse. Hell, I’ve been in many a band that has done worse.

    No shame in that, mang.

  3. I have never in my life been able to understand lyrics and this song is no exception. Am I really hearing “Mom and Dad” as much as I think I am?

    I’m impressed with the song. You guys were pretty good. Yeah, the sound sucks, but it could be cleaned up I betcha. Why, maybe you could even put out an album and sell a copy or two. Get famous or something.

  4. Are you kidding me? That’s awesome drumming, dude. Really. I didn’t get the lyrics (other than the aforementioned “Mom and Dad”) with my 70 year old ears, but overall, pretty good.

  5. The music in this song reminds me of Damned Black Album, specifically Smash it up. Which would make you parallel with Rat Scabies. Which sounds worse than it is, I think.

    Lyrics are solid.

    And crossposting from your twitter feed, I’d say both “Hell Yeah Dude” and “Open for Wyld Stallyns!”.

  6. Out of curiosity, how did you all record this? (Was multitrack mixing available to high schoolers in 1987?) It’s impressively professional all things considered.

  7. Another one who can’t make out the lyrics except for the repeated phrase “Mom and Dad”. Would it be possible for you to post them?

  8. Heck, it’s not that bad. I recently read that Roger Daltry, having made his own guitar and mastered 3 chords, began a cover band singing in pubs. If only labor laws had permitted your group to go pro. Anyhow, I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only creative-minded and producing teenager, admittedly long before this. You were making productive use of your time and energy.

  9. I’d take this over 99% of the new stuff that’s come out since the year 2000 and especially all the hot ‘Y2K Teens’ garbage!

  10. Maybe a smidge of Jesus & The Mary Chain in there. Pretty good all things considered. Someone request it on First Wave (satellite radio channel)!

  11. Just because I’m an audio engineer with too much time on my hands, I did a slight remix of Scalzi’s song: