Thursday, August 27, 2009

D.O.A. - "30th Anniversary DVD" ("The Men Of Action" DVD + "Northern Avenger" CD)

This is a cool package combining a retrospective DVD as well as the band's new album. Vancouver's D.O.A., led by Joe "Shithead" Keithley, are an institution -- easily one of Canada's greatest musical contributions (respect to Skinny Puppy). This 26-song DVD collects live clips, TV appearances, and some promo videos from 1978 to now, and it's an entertaining look at the band, from bootleg-quality material to pro-shot, multi-camera goodness. It's all great, from hits like "Fucked Up Ronnie" and "America The Beautiful" to a sweet new video for the band's classic "D.O.A." from 1978. D.O.A.'s ideals are on display here -- pro-environment, atheist, pro-human (and women's) rights, anti-war, and anti-racism. As well, there's plenty of references to their other loves --- hockey, beer, etc. So it's not all heavy-handed polemics. Beyond this fine DVD, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the band, Keithley himself narrates an extra audio track, whereupon he discusses not only the videos, but countless tales (good and bad) from the band's illustrious and storied history. It's great fun, and quite the Canuck-punk history lesson.

The added CD is the group's new studio work, and was co-produced by famed Canadian rock producer Bob Rock, who's pedigree includes such nonsense as Aerosmith and Motley Crue. Nonetheless, he allows Shithead and company to shine, with a clean (but not sterile) sound. Musically, it's prime D.O.A. (they never seem to age) -- smart punk with bits of ska ("That Poor Poor Boy"). There's anger, activism, and plenty of catchy, singalong raucousness. A great set, and further proof that D.O.A. are as vital and relevant today as they ever were. (Sudden Death Records / MVD Visual)

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