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Junkie Fuck: CD-R
I can’t tell you much about this artist from the mysterious internet, other than he lives in the South and likes to get high. This is a four-song release that deals exclusively with sex. The song titles would give you the nod to this anyway, but I thought I should make you an educated consumer. There’s only about nine minutes of music here, so I should wrap this up. Think Metal Mike singing if he borrowed Steve Albini’s Roland and you get the picture. Raw but enjoyable. –koepenick (facebook.com/dberryrooth)

Creation and Destroy: LP
Holy fuuuuck!! As soon as the needle hits the groove, you are hit with a massive wall of sound. I like how the drums open the song “I Wish...”. My jaw hit the floor with a thud as soon as I heard the thunder! The urgency is undeniable. It’s as though their lives depend on cranking this song out and pushing as much noise as possible through your speakers. Amid all the white noise you can hear the bass playing some catchy lines… and the drums... this guy is a god! You have to hear it to believe it. I like that they put a lot of low end in the mix, as it keeps the songs from floating away. It’s great when you can feel the bass run through a wood floor and up through your body. Totally puts you in the record. This isn’t a record you listen to with the volume down, or midway down. You listen to this cranked all the way up. AWWWWESOME! Comes packaged with a large tour poser as well. As if you need any more incentive. –Matt Average (540, timmy@chaosintejas.com, chaosintejas.com/540/index)

Shark Attack: 7"
An OC punk three-piece is a rare breed, indeed. I’m hypotheticalizing, but it’s much easier to fuck up in a larger band, to spread the blame around, get wasted, and fill in the blank for an excuse when you don’t feel like showing up and playing. D-Cup are even stranger by the fact that they remind me what the early, ringing Jam songs would sound like if filtered through Dramarama, mixed in with Southern California fuckup beach culture, and sneered up just a tiny little bit. Both songs are mid-paced, well structured, catchy, and to the point. Quite possibly the most pop effort I’ve heard on Hostage, and that’s very far from any sort of slag. Good stuff. –todd (Hostage)

Graphic Novel: CD
Hip-hop with storytelling lyrics that drive home positive messages about healthy living. The rhyming isn’t too complex, but that just makes it more accessible, and serves to drive home the points of the songs. The beats are funky and daring. This is more KRS-One than after school special. –CT Terry (bookthefitz@gmail.com)

The Circus: CD
Mid-tempo riff rock, that, although well written and well played, just couldn’t keep me interested. It just kind of all blends together. –ty (OD Inc., odinc@Canada.com)

Terror from Above: CD
I feel like this band probably thinks they sound like Dystopia or His Hero Is Gone. Totally generic sludge interspersed with parts that kind of sound like Limp Bizkit. I honestly am having a hard time telling if this record is a joke or not. –Ian Wise (Self released, d-roid.bandcamp.com)

Missile Sunset: CD
By saying the D.C. Snipers are a more sophisticated Spits, it’s like saying they’re more sophisticated booger eaters, but it’s true. (For the record, The Spits are inspired booger eaters; not a talent to be offhandedly dismissed.) Whereas The Spits huff directly from the Ramones exhaust pipe for inspiration, the D.C. Snipers pull a duct-tape body wax from hairy, early New York artpunk like Television and Suicide. What that means is that they’ve got the straight-from-the-garage-2006 charm that doesn’t take much intense thought to like while hanging a painting in the back of the drum riser with more artistic sonic brushes, full of weird sounds and not-supposed-to-work angles. Bottom line: fuckin’ danceable, headspace-clearing stuff that’ll hang both in gutters and fancy lofts. This is getting a lot of spins. –todd (Dead Beat)

D.E.K. :
Right Now in a Minute: CD
This is a homemade full length, which doesn’t mean it’s bad. It actually is kind of good. You get eleven songs of rock’n’roll and surf madness with some hardcore thrown in here and there. There are some great samples in here, too. I wish there was more to say about this but I don’t think there is. –Mike Beer –Guest Contributor (Broken Bones)

Critical Failure: CD
Formerly known as Destroyed In Seconds in their infancy, this band changed their name prior to their debut with the shortened initialed version of their name. Appropriate, since the musical stylings are influenced by Swedish d-beat with a heavy overtone of metal. A band also has a heavy-hitting roster of former and current members of Phobia, Eat The Living, Mange, Exhumed, Intronaut, and Semtex Vest. Sonically, the music is pure anger that is loud and thick. Seeing the band live on many occasions, they blow you away since they bring along plenty of amplification. On this debut, they were able to replicate that loudness and power that they have in their live shows. Production is top notch without sounding sterile. Levels seem to be all in the right place so that not one person is being drowned out. If bands like Skitsystem or Wolfpack/Wolfbrigade tickle your fancy, this band should satisfy your taste buds. –don (Deep Six)

Hardcore '81: CD
Do you ever wonder why you were so damn angry as a teenager? Consider the popular music of the time. “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes, “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie and “Lady” by Kenny Rogers ruled the charts as the top three singles of 1981. Hearing these songs over and over is enough to make Gandhi want to give the pope a haymaker to the side of the head. It’s almost inconceivable that an album like Hardcore ‘81 could even exist in the same frame of time that pabulum like this was sucking all the air out of the world. But as anyone who likes punk rock knows, the best work is done in a vacuum, especially if that vacuum insulates you from the world of pop music. D.O.A. reflect blue collar values in both their music and their work ethic. They seemed to be on tour almost perpetually throughout the 1980s, making them one of the hardest-working and most-appreciated bands in the punk business. Hardcore '81 is evidence of this. What we've got here is fourteen punchy songs with sing-along lyrics and minimal, but never sloppy production. What else do you need? Lots of timeless faves are here, including "D.O.A.," "001 Losers Club," "Fucked Up Baby," and more. Also included on this CD is D.O.A.'s 1984 four-song E.P. Don't Turn Your Back on Desperate Times. These are four tight, angry, politically-charged anthems that absolutely deserved to see the light of day again. It's an excellent bonus to a must-have album. D.O.A. is a truly important and essential punk outfit, but they will probably never get a decades-delayed or posthumous nod of approval from the mainstream music establishment in the way that the Sex Pistols, Clash and the Ramones have. Is this a bad thing? From a fan's standpoint anyway, staying off the big shot's radar is a blessing. It means that we will never be overwhelmed with the butt-puckering wave of nausea that would come from hearing "Slumlord" or "My Old Man's a Bum" used as the musical background in a cell phone or luxury car commercial. For what it's worth, the people who matter know D.O.A. and Hardcore '81 rule all hell. – Jeff Fox –Guest Contributor (Sudden Death)

Talk-Action=0: CD
New one from Shithead and the gang. Hard and heavy, these guys have been on a hot streak lately with this one and Northern Avenger. And I was just lucky enough to watch them play from the side of the stage recently in Ohio and they still bring it live like a hot iron to a steer’s ass! Standouts on this one include “I Live in a Car” and “Don’t Bank on a Bank.” “The R.C.M.P.” sounds like The Sex Pistols, but not in a fawning tribute sort of way. There’s even a song about Star Trek, so what more do you need? –koepenick (Sudden Death)

Punk Rock Singles 1978-99: CD
This release gathers thirteen singles (well, technically eleven singles and two EPs) totaling twenty-six tracks from Canada’s finest punk pioneers D.O.A. The CD progresses chronologically, from D.O.A.’s first release the Disco Sucks 7” from 1978 all the way up to a cover of Black Flag’s “Nervous Breakdown” from a 1999 split single. This is just as good a place to start as any when it comes to D.O.A., since it has most of their essential early classics on here like “The Enemy,” “The Prisoner” “World War III,” and “Fuck You” (which is actually a cover of fellow Vancouver band the Skulls). Many of the later songs (post 1983) are actually interesting enough too, if not quite as frantic and hook filled as the earlier releases. The only stumbling block is “Marijuana Motherfucker,” which sounds like an amped up filler track from a Cheech and Chong album. The fact that all the songs here are presented in remastered single versions makes this CD a worthy purchase for those without an obsessive vinyl collection of hard to get punk records, plus the liner notes about each release are really interesting. –Adrian (Sudden Death)

25TH Anniversary Anthology: CD
This starts with “Disco Sucks,” from 1978, a cool, raw punk song that shows DOA as a band full of talent. Next you have songs from the two great DOA albums, Something Better Change and Hardcore 81, followed by War on 45, in which DOA – sometimes known as the Canadian Clash – prove that they’re absolutely NOT the Clash and should never try reggae again and never, ever, ever cover “War” again. Good god, y’all. “Fuck You” comes in as a testament to the old days of DOA’s greatness (though it is, of course, a Subhumans [Canada] song), before they mired themselves in metal and pretty much stayed there from 1982 on. In short, this anthology is just like DOA’s music career: fucking awesome at the beginning, and let’s just ignore the rest. –sean (Sudden Death)

Northern Avenger: CD
The album title comes from the name producer Bob Rock gave to Joe Keithley’s beat-to-shit guitar. It fits. This record also features the return of Randy Rampage on bass, but, apparently, he left the band again shortly after this recording. “Human Bomb” blows stuff up right from the get go, but strap yourself in. There’s a lot more. “Police Brutality” warns all of us to watch out for the fuzz. ‘Still a Punk” makes the case in point that the spirit of punk rock is still alive and well. This CD grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let up. I really, really like this one; a consistent release from start to finish. Don’t worry—Rock didn’t talk Joe into playing any Hammett-style licks. This is just one hundred percent pure D.O.A. No filter required. –koepenick (Sudden Death)

Northern Avenger: CD
With well over a dozen studio albums under their belt, Vancouver punk legends D.O.A. offer up yet another collection of brand new songs, this time teaming up with infamous producer Bob Rock. Fortunately, Mr. Rock does not find a way to make D.O.A. suck like modern day Metallica and, thankfully, the album does not sound brazenly overproduced. Instead, it just sounds like what you would expect, which is to say it sounds like basically every other D.O.A. record ever released although never quite recapturing the greatness of its earliest material when the band coined the term “hardcore punk” and helped pioneer the D.I.Y. touring circuit that makes you whippersnappers able to take months off traveling the country in vans, playing noise in basements, eating cheap food and sleeping on strangers’ floors. By today’s standards, D.O.A.’s version of hardcore sounds somewhat quaint and their political lyrics seem to lack a certain intellectual depth compared to the most strident sloganeering of the bands that formed after them in the realms of lefty punk. Still, it’s a solid punk rock and roll album with a few flirtations with Jamaican music and Dead Kennedys-styled surf guitar mayhem with solid results. Lyrically, they cover familiar territory of social commentary, corrupt politicians, and CEOs, the military industrial complex, hockey, and Canada. If I were to introduce someone to D.O.A., I would still start them out with the Bloodied and Unbowed collection covering the bands earliest material, but I’m still glad Joey Shithead and crew are still around and putting out albums. They are still worth listening to. –Jake Shut –Guest Contributor (Sudden Death)

Win the Battle: CD
I really wish i wasn't assigned this CD to review, as, for the last eight or ten years, i've avoided contact with any new D.O.A. product simply out of respect for my teenage memories of how great they used to be. I mean, shit, Something Better Change was a frickin' beacon in the unholy miasma of crap, piss, retch and swill that passed for "underground" music in 1980 – it was LOUD and FAST and ANGRY and ROCKIN' and GUTTURAL and MELODIC and STIRRING and PASSIONATE and about eighty-seven other fuckin' capitalized adjectives in an era where true Punk Rock sightings were few and far between. Absolutely positively everyone should own that album (and, NO, Bloodied But Unbowed does not count), recent CD reissue quite acceptable (since it doesn't skip during "Thirteen" like all the vinyl copies i've ever heard). Hardcore '81 was a worthy followup in the Shorter/Faster/Dumber spirit of the moment, and the War on 45 8-song 12" which closed out '82 was a surprisingly successful blend of classic D.O.A. sounds with more traditional ROCK influences. After that, i have no fucking CLUE what happened. Let's Wreck the Party – with the exception of their cover of "Singin' in the Rain" and the song that immediately preceded it, "Race Riot" (since it sorta ran right into "Singin' in the Rain" and you kind of couldn't escape it) – was a total pile of limp-ass crap. On 1987's True (North), Strong and Free, the band actually managed to come up with three great songs (out of ten total), but had to re-record a song off an early 45 ("Nazi Training Camp") and a fucking Bachman-Turner Overdrive cover to do so. In 1990, the band called it quits, but not before leaving the world with Murder, one of the best albums of 1990 (admittedly due to lack of competition), half of which was really quite good. If i'm hired to write the screenplay for Get Out of My Life: The D.O.A. Story, it ends right there. Unfortunately, that is not the case: The band – to my everlasting horror! – reformed, and began to emit entirely new strains of ill-advised records. The first reunion record, 13 Flavours of Doom, was kind of okay, i guess; the next one, Loggerheads, was and is, with the exception of the two songs penned by the (tragically deceased) drummer, one of the absolutely positively WORST RECORDS i have ever heard in my LIFE (any genre). I stopped buying D.O.A. records after that; it was too much like watching a septuagenarian Tony Curtis bungle his way thru his lines in the stage musical version of Some Like It Hot – horrible, tragic, sad, and not the least bit compelling in its horrible tragic sadness. The really sad thing is that there haven't been any wholesale changes to the basic D.O.A. sound in the last twenty years, really – it's just that they used to be great, and now they suck utterly. My only theory is that when you're startin' out as a band, you're just kind of flailing in the darkness, trying to make contact; you simply wanna give vent to the demons inside your head. At some point in time, your flailing will beget you an audience, and i suppose one might stop writing songs in hopes of being heard, and start writing songs with the presupposition that they are going to be heard at that time – and perhaps this is the crux of the Great Shittiness. Dunno. All i know is that not only does the band re-do two songs off of 1987's True (North), Strong and Free – a record, mind you, where they were already so thin with songs that they hadda dip into songs they recorded in the late '70s! – and "Dead Men Tell No Tales" which i think was on Murder – but they also cover the Subhumans' "Fuck You" for like the third different time on record. I mean, ??? ...as a workin' joe myself, i don't begrudge anybody the right to make a living (or, for that matter, even to play music); as a D.O.A. fan, however, i'll go on record as saying the records they've put out in the last ten years are fucking god awful and i wish they'd stop releasing them. BEST SONG TITLE: "I Am Canadian" BEST SONG: I dunno, is this counting the stuff they already recorded fifteen years ago or no? FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The band's slogan has long been the equation "TALK - ACTION = 0." Recall from 8th grade algebra, if you will, that we can do anything to one side of any given equation so long as we perform the identical operation on the other side. Therefore, let us add the term "ACTION" to both sides. This gives us the following modified equation: "TALK - ACTION + ACTION = 0 + ACTION." Since (- ACTION) and (+ ACTION) cancel each other out, the equation can now be written TALK = 0 + ACTION. Since (0 + x) = x, (0 + ACTION) = ACTION. Therefore, in its simplest form, "TALK - ACTION = 0" can be written TALK = ACTION. Sad, isn't it?
–norb (Sudden Death)

Kings of Punk, Hockey and Beer: CD
Dunno if this constitutes a new “album,” per se, as it does another compilation of later tracks by this venerable punk act. What it looks like they’ve done is taken a number of tunes that have appeared on other releases over the years (could swear I’ve seen “Dead Men Tell No Tales” on at least two others) and repurposed them into a new collection addressing the three subjects identified in the album title. Some good songs can be found here—“Beat ’Em, Bust ’Em” comes pretty damned close to their “classic” period—while the rest are serviceable at worst, and they have the good sense to ditch the ska this time around. Is it a triumphant return to form for one of the greatest punk bands ever? Nope, but it ain’t exactly terrible, either. –jimmy (Sudden Death)

Talk-Action=0: CD
The fact the album title is a retread notwithstanding (previously used, albeit in a slightly different form, for a live album they released some years ago), I am pleased as punch to say that this, this, my friends, is a release worthy of the DOA name. Sure, Dimwit, Biscuits and the “classic” lineup(s) are missed, but Joey ‘n’ his latest batch of cohorts dish up some tunes that sound like DOA: zippy, catchy yet abrasive, topical but not preachy, rough yet tempered with their signature snotty charm. The second half might not be quite as consistently strong as the first, and there are a couple of spots where their later “rock” sound sneaks in, but you’ll be hard pressed to find an original here that flat-out sucks. Nice to see, and hear ‘em, back in fine form and without all the bad ska in tow. –jimmy (Sudden Death, suddendeath.com)

We Come in Peace: CD
It should go without saying that D.O.A. is a legendary band, responsible for classic albums like Something Better Change and Hardcore ‘81. They’re even credited with originating the term “hardcore” to define the second wave of North American punk music. Beyond those early releases, I also have a fondness for their more mainstream, rock-sounding 1985 album Let’s Wreck the Party, and an appreciation for the populist political perspectives reflected in the band’s lyrics. With We Come in Peace vocalist/guitarist Joey “Shithead” Keithley and company return with an album brimming with political fervor and a slew of guest performers including Jello Biafra, Ben Kowalewicz, Hugh Dillon, and more. While I can easily get down with the political messages, and love hearing Biafra’s voice on any recording, overall I found this to be mostly boring mid-tempo melodic punk, spiced up at times with moments of street punk and punk’n’roll-sounding parts. There’s even a very ska sounding track, “Walk through This World.” Which takes me to my biggest complaint about this album: there’s not much cohesion to it. It sounds to me more like a compilation of bands trying to be D.O.A. than it sounds like the band trying to be themselves. One place where the band does succeed is in their rendition of The Beatles’ “Revolution.” While cheesy, I think D.O.A. made a better go of it than most bands, punking it up and making it their own. While I appreciate the lyrical themes present on this recording, I expected more from this. –Paul J. Comeau (Sudden Death)

Welcome to Chinatown: D.O.A. Live: CD

So this is the end. A legendary band steers the ship out for one more ride into the sunset. Joey “Shithead” Keithley and his band of merry men offer up this blazing live disc to say goodbye. Recorded over three different nights at The Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver, the sound is fantastic: twenty-eight barnburners covering the band’s entire history. I hope Joey knows how much of an impact his music has had on the punk world. “This Machine Kills Fascists” and D.O.A did more than their fair share. Thank you.

–koepenick (Sudden Death, info@suddendeath.com)

Hard Rain Falling: CD
Joe Keithley is back with a new lineup (Dirty Dan Sedan, we will miss you) and a new record. It is fast and furious on most of the songs presented, although we get to catch a breath during “Johnny Too Bad.” If you are looking to clean your ears without the use of a pesky Q-Tip, just crank “Warmonger” or “Kicked in the Teeth” up to eleven. Another solid outing from the band that will stand strong next to their earliest work. Highly recommended.  –koepenick (Sudden Death, info@suddendeath.com)

Hard Rain Falling: CD
The decades-long love affair between D.O.A. and I has been... rocky. Up to War on 45 I considered them all but untouchable, a position I still staunchly defend. After that, things get a bit problematic, first with the creeping influence of very bad ‘80s rock—both in sound and production—then a succession of spotty records albatrossed with an exasperating insistence on including terrible ska punk filler—and by filler I mean a half-album’s worth in some cases—and a seemingly endless assortment of repackaged, reordered, and resoundingly pointless compilations, collections, and themed concoctions. Mind you, it’s not that I didn’t want them to grow and expand their palette, and there were definitely some interesting moments peppered in through the years, but what was coming out seemed more like uninspired paint-by-numbers than one of the most ferocious punk bands ever to stomp terra pushing at boundaries. Ever the optimist, I remained undeterred, picking up every release I came across in the hopes that they would come around and remember what once made them so goddamned crucial. Some glimmers of hope shone through with the Talk-Action=0 album of a few years back, a mostly solid release, but this bad boy here is easily their most keyed in and consistent album in decades. The chutzpah, the feral swagger, and Joey’s snarl are in abundance on tunes that go right for your inner “fuck yeah!” button and set you careening off the nearest wall. Lyrical subject matter is topical and right on the money without coming off as preachy or slogan-heavy, and, hell, even the cover of The Slickers’ song “Johnny Too Bad” is inspired in its delivery, relying more on the hint of Caribbean rhythms than going for full-ska mode. Faboo this is, a release worthy of their good name and formidable reputation.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Sudden Death)

Hard Rain Falling: CD
I had to check to be sure this wasn’t a reissue of one of D.O.A.’s early-’80s albums, because these Canadian punk pioneers have hardly changed for nearly forty years. They still bang out primitive, electrified protest music with all the subtlety of a giant middle finger. Anyone can pick up on what’s going on, and it’s hard not to shout along with hardcore songs like “Racism Sucks” and “The Cops Shot a Kid.” Twelve songs, including a truly excruciating cover of the reggae classic “Johnny Too Bad.”  –Chris Terry (Sudden Death)

Hard Rain Falling: CD
Sticking with the program and keeping it real, D.O.A. has been at it since 1978 and Hard Rain Falling shows no sign of these dudes slowing down. I don’t know what else to say about this record—if you love D.O.A., you will not be disappointed. If you’ve never heard of D.O.A. I have one word for you... poseur!  –Jackie Rusted (Sudden Death, suddensuddendeath.comdeath.com)

Last Warning: LP
A little history here. This was originally released in Japan in 1991 and there were only 200 pressed. I’m guessing only a handful ever made it out of the country with that kind of press run, but the fine folks at Schizophrenic Records unearthed a gem. Not only do they re-release this, but they also include comp tracks to fill out this reissue. This deservingly needed to be put back out there. The distinct style of punk that this band plays is very distinctively Japanese and should be mentioned in the same breath as one of the great punk bands out of Japan like The Execute, Lip Cream, Gauze, or GISM. They thrash with fury and add that slight crossover element that was popular in that time period—almost purely manic, yet controlled with such precision. Melodic, metallic, and fast bursts of sheer power. It is a sound that makes many people obsessive about punk music from Japan; it’s a sound that is hard to duplicate if you are not from the country. You feel like your heart is about to burst but a smile overtakes your face. Such a great release that if there is an inkling of interest, you’d better act fast. I hear they were only pressing 300 on cool multi colored vinyl. There is a CD version if you snooze. –don (Schizophrenic)

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