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Review - D.O.A. - We Come In Peace

After 35 years, D.O.A. Calls It Quits

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D.O.A.

We Come In Peace

Sudden Death Records
After 35 years of putting out some amazing hardcore records (and even credited with inventing the term hardcore to apply to the scene with their album Hardcore '81), Canada's premier punk outfit D.O.A. is calling it quits with their swan song, We Come In Peace. And for a band that has long been at the forefront of both great music and a solid political stance, it's definitely a way to go out on top.

An adventurous record to end an era with, We Come In Peace finds founder Joe Keithley branching out with some surprising musical moves that proved to be very successful, as well as some serious guest appearances.

Sure, there are also the driving inspirational punk anthems with political leanings that the band has made it's name doing, including "He's Got a Gun," "Bloody but Unbowed," and the defiant "Who the Hell Do You Think You Are." And bagpipes even make an appearance on the street punk anthem "Dirty Bastards," which takes a cue from bands like the Dropkick Murphys not just in its use of pipes but in its circle pit-meets-pub feeling to create a fist pumping song equally at home on a barstool as it is in front of a stage.

There are also serious whirling hardcore pit pieces, like the driving "Boneyard" (which features Hugh Dillon from the Headstones), "Do You Wanna" (a duet with fellow Canadian Ben Kowalewicz of Billy Talent), "Bring Out Your Dead"

"We Occupy" is another stirring political punk tune, a jangly track paying tribute to the members of the Occupy movement, and another duet made that much more distinctive with the addition of former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra's unmistakeable vocals to the track.

Joe Keithley

Sudden Death

There are some reggae and dub tracks mixed that would have done the Clash proud, like their cover of Toxic Reason's "War Hero," and the serious groove of "Walk Through This World," which draws heavily from the Clash's "Bankrobber," but results in a melodic track that becomes something completely different.

"Lost Souls" delivers a more melodic sound with a bit of twang, but its twang is quickly buried by the spaghetti western feel in "The Man With No Name," a rousing tribute to Clint Eastwood's early performances in the Dollars trilogy.

On a record full of surprises, there's always room for a few more. These come in the form of a dirtied up cover of the Beatles' "Revolution," which tears it open and makes the song sound like a punk classic, and the album's closer, where Keithley draws the record (and in fact D.O.A.) to a close with a song based on a recommendation by Jello Biafra - an acoustic version of the D.O.A. classic "General Strike." The song hands well to its new treatment, and when Keithley sings:

"Stand up, stand up and unite!
It's time for a general strike!"

The song has been elevated to a protest classic, calling for action with the revolutionary overtones the band has always stood by, and taking the band's message from the underground clubs into the streets.

Keithley and D.O.A., who have always lived by the motto Talk – Action = 0 (and even named their last album after said motto) are calling it quits at a time where they're much needed. But Keithley isn't really going anywhere. As he enters the next phase of his public life, the charismatic singer (who has 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) is once again entering the political ring as he seeks nomination for the New Democratic Party in British Columbia.

With D.O.A., he leaves behind a legacy of amazing records with a political message. This next step just proves that he stands behind this legacy and the message they've spread over the past 35 years.

More:

Free Punk MP3: D.O.A. - "He's Got A Gun"

D.O.A. has scheduled a series of farewell shows in California and Alberta. Tour dates are listed here.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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