Orange Country straight edge powerhouse, DARE, are here to make their mark on the hardcore scene with their debut full-length LP “Against All Odds” on Revelation Records. Eleven hard hitting crushers covering topics from racial injustices, dedication to straight edge and everything in between.
As much as I love this record from front to back, I can’t help but be reminded of our school’s D.A.R.E. officer, Benny O’Brien, who got busted selling drugs to staff and students in my middle school for damn near ten years. I remember hearing rumors about him from my friends’ older siblings since I was back in the third grade. He would bring duffle bags of all sorts of stuff and throughout his presentation things would get passed around and by the time he left his bags were empty.
When I finally got to the fifth grade Officer O’Brien was giving drug awareness speeches three times a year. Coincidentally, that was the same year our principal was arrested for extorting students out of their lunch money. Word around campus was he’d call different kids into his office, light a match and threaten to blame them for burning down the school unless they emptied their pockets. Thank god one of the administrative employees called the fire department after smelling the fumes from the gasoline he poured all over his desk.
It seemed like the perfect crime for O’Brien while it lasted. I mean, it was like he had a brand new sports car every time he came to visit. I had no idea I was witnessing something out of the ordinary. Teaming up with the teachers to demonstrate how to use all the different types of drugs we were warned against taking kind of made sense. Watching my science teacher fall asleep standing up in the middle of class after shooting up heroin at 10 a.m. is exactly why I’ve never been interested in trying the stuff.
Now that I’m an adult I know that my experience with the D.A.R.E. program is vastly different from anybody else’s I’ve met and in no way reflects what this sick ass band is about. If you’re a fan of ripping hardcore, social justice and being unapologetically sober, you’re going to love this record.
Score: 10/10 cases of Narcan