D.O.A.: 1978: CD

Between 1978 and 1982, D.O.A.—well, to me anyway—hit an almost perfect balance between a number of traditionally well-separated aesthetic poles: They tightroped effortlessly between growling and melody, proficiency and unga bunga bunga primitivism, everyday-joe slobbishness and street fashion stylishness (okay, that last one is kind of a stretch). They were bright and stupid, edgy and traditionalist, dead serious and drunken clowns. They found a seam between pretty much all of existence, and then barreled on through it, unshaven. As luck would have it, this disc is twenty-one odds and ends—mostly songs from demos and singles—from that very period. And, while nothing here is so fricking wheel-reinventing that it will make you dump your copies of Something Better Change, Hardcore ‘81 and War on 45 into your uncle’s hot tub whilst shrieking oh lordy I can’t listen to that stolid gunk no more now that these demo versions have shown me the light, the truth, and the way, I still get a kick out of hearing how the background vocals in “The Enemy” used to go “1-2-3-4, enemy!” instead of just “the enemy!” and stuff like that. It seems like there are almost enough stray tracks from 1978-82 that never made it onto those three aforementioned albums that they could be scraped together, re-recorded (did I just say that of my own free will?), and released as The Great Lost D.O.A. Album—they could call it Hardcore 2019 or something. If that happens and it sucks, forget I said anything. BEST SONG THAT I HAVEN’T HEARD A MILLION TIMES BEFORE: “Rent-A-Riot.”BEST SONG TITLE: “Kill, Kill, This Is Pop.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Only two-sevenths of these tracks were actually recorded in 1978.Rev. Nørb (Sudden Death, suddendeath.com)