D.O.A.: We Come in Peace: CD

It should go without saying that D.O.A. is a legendary band, responsible for classic albums like Something Better Change and Hardcore ‘81. They’re even credited with originating the term “hardcore” to define the second wave of North American punk music. Beyond those early releases, I also have a fondness for their more mainstream, rock-sounding 1985 album Let’s Wreck the Party, and an appreciation for the populist political perspectives reflected in the band’s lyrics. With We Come in Peace vocalist/guitarist Joey “Shithead” Keithley and company return with an album brimming with political fervor and a slew of guest performers including Jello Biafra, Ben Kowalewicz, Hugh Dillon, and more. While I can easily get down with the political messages, and love hearing Biafra’s voice on any recording, overall I found this to be mostly boring mid-tempo melodic punk, spiced up at times with moments of street punk and punk’n’roll-sounding parts. There’s even a very ska sounding track, “Walk through This World.” Which takes me to my biggest complaint about this album: there’s not much cohesion to it. It sounds to me more like a compilation of bands trying to be D.O.A. than it sounds like the band trying to be themselves. One place where the band does succeed is in their rendition of The Beatles’ “Revolution.” While cheesy, I think D.O.A. made a better go of it than most bands, punking it up and making it their own. While I appreciate the lyrical themes present on this recording, I expected more from this.

 –Paul J. Comeau (Sudden Death)