D.O.A.: Northern Avenger: CD

Jul 03, 2009

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 (Sudden Death)