The good news is that Joey’s seen fit to reissue this slab of classic North American punk rock (previously available in its entirety on CD as part of the Bloodied but Unbowed compilation disc), which features such career high points as “America the Beautiful,” “Liar for Hire,” and a scorching cover of the Dils’ “Class War.” Further good news is that they added “World War 3,” “Smash the State,” and a couple of demo tracks that appeared on the Lost Tapes release from a few years back. The bad news is that, in addition to dumping “Let’s Fuck” from the lineup (ostensibly because it doesn’t conform to the “war” theme here, which didn’t seem to make a difference when the original was released) , they’ve added assorted anti-war songs from later releases, with only “We Don’t Need No Goddamn War” coming anywhere near the incendiary power of the original tracks here and the rest kinda residing in the realm of the forgettable. Dunno why Joey felt the need to do this, given that the original by its lonesome was more than worth the price of admission. Ultimately, though, while it’s nice to have most of the original release available again in some semblance of the original packaging (both of the original covers are available in the booklet), it would’ve been much sweeter to have some new DOA material fueled by the same primal fire and outrage that have made these songs so friggin’ effective and long lived. Given the current state of world affairs, especially with regards to Canada’s neighbor to the immediate south, it’s mind boggling that the band can’t seem to quite find the spark to set them off again. As someone who considered them untouchable in their prime, however, I remain optimistic, if a tad flabbergasted.
–jimmy (Sudden Death)