D.O.A.'s We Come in Peace has little to do with politics
We Come in Peace (Sudden Death)
The greatest accomplishment on D.O.A.’s latest studio album is not a song, but the fact that Joey “Shithead” Keithley gets a supporting performance from Jello Biafra on the anthem “We Occupy”. Biafra is by nature a scene-stealer who totally dominated his previous collaboration with D.O.A., 1989’s Last Scream of the Missing Neighbors; that he subordinates his evil warblings to Keithley’s drawling growl on “We Occupy” is a bit of a punk coup.
Too bad the song services a movement that’s rapidly disappearing in the mists of yesterday’s news. In fact, an inoffensive cover of the Beatles’ “Revolution” aside, the best tunes on We Come in Peace have little to do with politics. “Boneyard”—which features a guest vocal by Hugh Dillon, sounding sufficiently like Shithead that it’s hard to tell them apart—is a razor-sharp hardcore apprehension of mortality that packs more energy than a dozen cans of Beaver Buzz. From there, “Bring Out Your Dead” is a quick, fast, fun song about the zombie apocalypse, and “Do You Wanna” is a putdown of self-destructive substance abusers, featuring Ben Kowalewicz of Billy Talent, who fits right in even if it sounds like he’s singing about Tijuana. The bagpipes on “Dirty Bastards” are a neat innovation, too.
The rest of the album is typical late-period D.O.A. fare: energetic, undercooked, and occasionally kindaembarrassing (like “We’re Bloodied but Unbowed” and the umpteenth repackaging of the ineffectual “General Strike”). Still, the songs that work show that Keithley has a lot of fire left.