In God We Trust, Inc.

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In God We Trust, Inc.
Dead Kennedys - In God We Trust, Inc. cover.jpg
EP by
ReleasedDecember 1981
RecordedMöbius Music, August 22, 1981
GenreHardcore punk
LabelAlternative Tentacles
ProducerEast Bay Ray, Norm
Dead Kennedys chronology
Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
In God We Trust, Inc.
Plastic Surgery Disasters
Singles from In God We Trust, Inc.
  1. "Nazi Punks Fuck Off"
    Released: November 1981
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Record GuideB–[2]

In God We Trust, Inc. is a hardcore punk EP by the Dead Kennedys and the first of the group's albums with drummer D.H. Peligro. The record is a screed against things ranging from organized religion and Neo-Nazis, to the pesticide Kepone and government indifference that worsened the effects of Minamata disease catastrophes. In God We Trust, Inc. is also the first Dead Kennedys album released after the presidential election of Ronald Reagan and features the band's first references to Reagan, for which they—and hardcore punk as a genre—would become notorious.


During 1980 and 1981 the American punk scene saw an influx of 7" EPs from Washington D.C.'s Dischord Records from bands like Minor Threat and Teen Idles. These little high-tempo records packed in as many as 10 songs each and helped define the 1980s genre of hardcore punk.

In wanting to pay tribute to this faster form of punk rock, and to showcase the talents of their new drummer D.H. Peligro, the Dead Kennedys put together some new material and amped up a few songs that had only been heard on their 1978 demo and in early live shows. These songs became the basis for In God We Trust, Inc. Keeping with the rough-hewn style of D.C. hardcore, bits of tape leads announcing the take number and including drumstick clicks and count-offs precede many of the record's songs.


Much of the material on the EP was left over from earlier in the Dead Kennedys' career. Second guitarist 6025, who'd left the band in 1979, wrote the lead track, "Religious Vomit".[3] The song "Kepone Factory" is a reworking of "Kepone Kids", which appeared on the group's 1978 demo tape.[4] Alternate versions of "Moral Majority" and "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" were on a single packaged with an anti-fascist armband.[5] "We've Got a Bigger Problem Now" is a rewritten version of the band's early single "California Über Alles". Originally a dig at California governor Jerry Brown, the band reworked the song to be about newly elected president Ronald Reagan and added an element of lounge music in contrast with the fast-tempo hardcore punk music on the rest of the record.[6] The EP closes with a cover of the theme from the 1960s TV show Rawhide.[5]


The Dead Kennedys entered tiny Subterranean Studios to record eight songs on June 19, 1981. All tracks were recorded live without overdubs to ½" 8-track reel and with the band determining some of the songs' arrangements between takes.

The session was videotaped by Joe Rees of Target Video with Mike Fox, the session engineer, sending the rough mix to the video feed. When the group took the tracks to be mixed, they discovered that the magnetic tape used for the recording was defective—the oxide surface of the tape began to peel during playback, thereby destroying the recordings. The band then re-recorded all eight songs on August 22 at Mobius Music, and these recordings were released on the EP.[7]

Years later, enhanced restoration techniques allowed for five tracks to be recovered from the master tapes from the earlier Subterranean sessions. These, along with the rough video mixes of the remaining three songs, appear on the DVD The Lost Tapes.

Artwork and releases[edit]

The album cover depicts a golden Jesus crucified on a cross of dollar bills, with a background of a shiny metal material. The band released the record internationally in 1981 on their own Alternative Tentacles label, in partnership with various other independent record labels in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The original vinyl version's A-side comprised tracks 1–5, and Side B tracks 6–8.

The original cassette version compiled all 8 songs on Side A and left Side B intentionally devoid of any sound. Printed on the cassette's second side was the explanation, "Home taping is killing record industry profits! We left this side blank so you can help."[8]

In God We Trust, Inc. first appeared on compact disc in 1985 as bonus material added to the Dead Kennedys' 1982 LP Plastic Surgery Disasters.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Jello Biafra, except where noted.

1."Religious Vomit"60251:04
2."Moral Majority" 1:55
3."Hyperactive Child" 0:37
4."Kepone Factory" 1:18
5."Dog Bite"Klaus Flouride1:13
6."Nazi Punks Fuck Off" 1:03
7."We've Got a Bigger Problem Now" 4:29
8."Rawhide"Ned Washington and Dimitri Tiomkin2:11
Total length:13:54


  • Jello Biafra – lead vocals, artwork
  • East Bay Ray – guitar, backing vocals, producer
  • Klaus Flouride – bass, backing vocals
  • D.H. Peligro – drums
  • Ninotchka – backing vocals
  • Annette Olesen– backing vocals
  • HyJean – backing vocals
  • Darvon – backing vocals
  • Siobhan – backing vocals
  • Norm – producer, mixer
  • Oliver Dicicco – engineer
  • Annette Olesen-- 2nd engineer
  • Winston Smith – artwork


Chart (1981) Peak
UK Indie Chart[9] 3


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[10] Gold 100,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "Dead Kennedys". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. p. 114. ISBN 9780679730156.
  3. ^ Ogg, Alex (2014). Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables: The Early Years. PM Press. ISBN 9781604869873.
  4. ^ Foley, Michael Stewart (2015). Dead Kennedys' Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. ISBN 9781623562441.
  5. ^ a b Gimarc, George (2005). Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9780879308483.
  6. ^ Gerdes, Eckhard (2004). The Literary Terrorism of Harold Jaffe. iUniverse. ISBN 9780595324682.
  7. ^ * In God We Trust, Inc. - The Lost Tapes (inlay). Eric Goodfield. Oaks, PA: MVD Music Video Distributors. 2003 [1981]. CR-4351.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ sharky_p2p No real name given + Add Contact. "kennedys | Flickr - Photo Sharing!". Flickr. Retrieved 2012-02-24.
  9. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2014.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "British album certifications – Dead Kennedys – In God we trust". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type In God we trust in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.