Band of Rebels by Joe Shithead Keithley

Joe Shithead Keithley
Band of Rebels (Sudden Death)

This isn't your typical D.O.A.–style Joe Keithley album. Sure, it's got anti-establishment song titles like "Fuck the Corporation" and "Record Company Ripoff", but the straightforward punk-rock noise Mr. Shithead is best known for doesn't get much play here.

According to the liner notes, his Band of Rebels is a stable of 14 local singers and instrumentalists from across the musical spectrum. Bill Runge blows sax on the frenzied opening track, "Rebel Kind", and fellow jazzman John Korsrud plays trumpet on the ska-flavoured follow-up, "Bust Me Loose". Violinist Jesse Zubot, of the peerless Vancouver roots act Zubot & Dawson, gets his fiddle licks in on the third track, "When Power Came to Canada", which details Canadian history as only Keithley can tell it, with shout-outs to true Canuck musical heroes like Don Messer, Rush, Stompin' Tom, BTO, and NoMeansNo.

The prolific Keithley wrote 12 of the 14 tracks here–everything but Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" and Leadbelly's "Goodnight Irene"–and on catchy pop-punk tunes like "People Power" and Celtic-tinged rave-ups like "Wake Me Up for the Revolution", his political points totally jibe with the party-time vibes. But don't take my word for it–check out the leather-jacketed legend at the Plaza Club next Thursday (December 6).