Album of the Week: D.O.A. takes us back to the beginning, raiding the vaults for the raw and raging 1978
1978 (Sudden Death)
Never mind the title—the cover art is advance warning that you’re in for something epic. 1978 collects early demos and rare cuts from what’s not only the greatest punk band ever to call Canada home, but a group that is every bit as important as first-wave legends like Black Flag, the Circle Jerks, X, and the Germs.
D.O.A. not only invented the term hardcore, but showed countless kids that there was nothing stopping them from putting together a band, booking a community hall, and cranking the amps in the name of making the world a more progressive place. No edition of the band was more potent and dangerous than the three-piece featuring singer-guitarist Joey Shithead, bassist Randy Rampage, and drummer Chuck Biscuits, shown on the cover of 1978.
Some of the material will be familiar to long-time fans, with “The Prisoner” and “Watcha Gonna Do?” originally released on 7-inch way back in the day, and “I Hate You” first available on the essential compilation known as Vancouver Complication. But the real treasures here are the demos, which include bare-knuckled and unvarnished takes on “The Enemy” and “America the Beautiful”, and never-released flamethrowers like “No Way Out” and “Bored and Suicidal”.
Get ready to be reminded why D.O.A. has been called essential listening by everyone from Henry Rollins to Kurt Cobain to Anthony Kiedis. And then head to the WISE Hall on Saturday (September 21), when D.O.A. headlines the Punk the Vote Festival, with the set list—if we’re lucky—including large chunks, if not all, of 1978.