Since their inception in 1978, Vancouver’s D.O.A. has been credited with being one of the founders of hardcore punk, alongside their contemporaries from south of the border. In fact, their second album, Hardcore ‘81, is considered to possibly be the first time the scene was officially called hardcore. Over 30 years later, D.O.A. is still around with a new release called Talk – Action = 0, and with it they’re proving that not only are they still relevant, but along with other 2010 releases like GBH’s Perfume and Piss, that 2010 is proving that the old school is still alive and well.
A longtime slogan for the band, it was only a matter of time before this often politically motivated band (fronted by Joey Shithead Keithley, a man who has over the years run for the Green Party three times and been named one of British Columbia's all time most influential people by readers of the Vancouver Sun) would put its money where its motivations lay and actually give an album title to their longtime mantra.
And the album is all about action, as the political hardcore abounds. With songs that have self-explanatory titles like “That’s Why I’m an Atheist,” “Don’t Bank On A Bank” and “Tyrants Turn In Hell,” they lay their political stance out on the album jacket. They delve even deeper when they talk about the failing economy (“I Live In A Car”) and being anti-greed (“Consume! Consume”), and when they bust out an anti-police rant with “The R.C.M.P.” they really show that the anti-fascist police punk song knows no nationalities.
But the album is not all about heavy-handed politics either. Punk anthems abound, from the fun resounding “Hell yeah!” in the chorus of “Rebel Kind,” to the spiting vitriol in “They Hate Punk Rock,” an anthem that has been relevant throughout punk’s existence, D.O.A. is about simply being punk for the sake of being punk too, politics be damned occasionally.
They even show a humorous side, like in the man’s man anthem that is “Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty and Bones” (who truly were “men for all ages”), their blasting cover of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’” and on what is straight up the best cover of “That’s Amore” ever done, Talk – Action = 0 delivers a fun side that keeps it from ever getting too deep to handle. The band shows that the years have taught them to pace a record, and the sound shows that Vancouver hardcore is till alive and well, with blistering guitars and Keithley’s vocals that hit you square between the ears every time.
Although punk will always have a place for bold new faces and sounds, the solid hardcore rush is what it was built on, and it’s perfect that the guys who invented the sound are still carrying it’s banner and holding it high.
Released May 11, 2010