DOA: The Black Spot—Unauthorized Bootleg Version: CD

Jan 23, 2008

Dunno what the second half of the title is referring to, but considering Joey’s the one putting it out, I’m guessing it’s some kinda piss-take or something. Feel kinda bad about the short shrift I gave this record back when it came out. When it hit the shelves back in 1995, I hadn’t seen DOA in at least a decade, but I had heard from numerous people that they just weren’t what they used to be, so when this band I was in (actually, by this time my position in the band had shifted from musician to sound guy/auxiliary guitarist-when-in-a-pinch) scored a show at a Tacoma AA clubhouse with what was once one of my favorite bands, I was jazzed, but still not expecting much. They demonstrated themselves to righteous punker types when they lent our drummer a kick pedal to replace the one that had broken right as he was setting up (and anyone who’s ever played a show can attest to how truly rare it is for a headlining band to do such a thing), allowing this humble touring band from East L.A. perplex Washington’s punk population in attendance with our hybrid of punk and traditional Mexican music. When DOA hit the stage, though, I knew that everyone who’d said they had lost it were utterly fulla shit, ‘cause they were easily better than the last time I’d seen ‘em in 1986. They sounded just as inspiring, tight, and manic as ever, and newer songs, like their quasi-cover of David Peel’s “Have a Marijuana,” sounded more in step with their earlier stuff than that later rock-type stuff they ended up delving into for a short time. And yet, when I saw this on the racks later, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the cash on it. Why? I dunno, really. Chalk it up to their aforementioned “rock” period, blame it on terminal lameness on my part, but despite my experience, I totally figured it was gonna suck, so I dismissed it out of hand. That was ultimately my loss, ‘cause while this ain’t Hardcore ‘81 or nothin’, it is one of the more solid releases from their later period, which has been pretty hit-or-miss, frankly. Most of the songs are strong, catchy, edgy, and all that other good stuff one looks for in a DOA release, right down to the chainsaw used on “The Nutwrencher Suite.” Thanks again, boys, for lending us that drum pedal lo those eleven years ago, and thanks, Joey, for givin’ me a second opportunity to appreciate this album.

 –jimmy (Sudden Death)