D.O.A. announce ‘War On 45’ 40th anniversary re-issue

D.O.A. Live photo
Photo Credit: Bob Hanham

In 1982, D.O.A. was ready to record a new album on the heels of their first two albums: ‘Something Better Change’ and ‘Hardcore 81,’ which are still both musical landmarks to this day. But their legendary line up had changed, as Randy Rampage was ousted from the band.

The older brother of Chuck Biscuits, Dimwit, stepped in on bass with Chuck still on drums, Joey Shithead on vocals and guitar and Dave Gregg on guitar. While this line up only lasted for 3 months, D.O.A. traveled to L.A. and recorded demos at Mystic Studios. Eventually Chuck quit, Dimwit took over on drums, and Wimpy Roy became the bassist.

So as a grand way of celebrating the 40th Anniversary of ‘War on 45,’ which many a critic and fan hailed as one of the most innovative albums of it’s time and on a par, quality wise with their first two albums, the band decided to add some bonus material.

First off, Sudden Death Records has included a 12 page booklet of unique photos, posters and an extensive history of D.O.A. at that time, written by Canada’s Godfather of punk Joey Shithead. In addition, they put all 8 tracks from the ‘War on 45’ 1982 release onto Side A of the album and the 7 tracks from the pre ‘War on 45’ demos that were recorded at Mystic onto Side B. So you have the Montgomery brothers: Biscuits and Dimwit, two of the greatest drummers of all time (and not just punk rock, any kind of rock music) on the same LP. You can grab a copy on limited edition 500 copies only red vinyl.

‘War on 45’ track list

SIDE A – Original 1982 Release w/ Dimwit on Drums
1.   Liar for Hire
2.   I’m Right, You’re Wrong
3.   America the Beautiful
4.   Let’s Fuck
5.   War
6.   I Hate You
7.   War in the East
8.   Class War

SIDE B – 1982 demos w/ Chuck Biscuits on drums

1.  Rent-A-Riot (1982 demo)
2.  Liar for Hire (1982 demo)
3.  Race Riot
4.  America the Beautiful (1982 demo)
5.  No Way Out (1982 demo)
6.  No God, No War (1981 demo)
7.  I Hate You (1982 demo)

More about D.O.A.

D.O.A. was formed amidst a whirlwind of controversy and upheaval. In 1978, three guys fresh out of high school from the backwaters of Canada’s suburbs heard about the punk rock revolution. In February of that same year the band formed and started playing shows. They soon realized that there were no record deals coming in any time soon.

Keithley (aka Joey Shithead) who was working towards being a civil rights lawyer before he found punk rock, concluded that the band had to take the “do it yourself” approach long before DIY became a popular concept. He formed a fledging record label called Sudden Death Records and the label released D.O.A.’s first snarling slab of vinyl, the Disco Sucks 7″ EP. 

Disco Sucks soon became an underground hit and the band started touring from Vancouver to their newly adopted “home base” of California five to six times a year. In 1980, Keithley coined the term “hardcore” and the band soon released their landmark album Hardcore 81. The album became a hit, the hardcore movement took off, and D.O.A. pushed that expression into common vernacular.

Over the last four decades, D.O.A. have released 18 studio albums, sold over a million albums, and played 4,500 shows on five different continents. The band’s albums, shows, and attitude have won over three generations of fans and influenced the likes of Green Day, Nirvana, Offspring, Henry Rollins, David Grohl and The Red Hot Chilli peppers, to name a few. Keithley has also written two books: ‘I Shithead: A Life in Punk’ and ‘TALK – ACTION = 0’.

From day one, D.O.A. has helped organize and lead hundreds of benefit concerts and protests for good and just causes like environmental issues, women’s rights, food bank benefits, First Nations rights and they have organized and stood against war, racism and weapons proliferation, amongst others.

Joey Shithead Keithley – Environmentalist, activist politician, D.O.A. founder, writer and troublemaker

Keithley has been called a cultural politician, trying to change the world from outside the system. Well my friends, Joe got elected in October 2018 as a city councillor in his home town of Burnaby (one of the largest cities on the west coast of Canada). Joe ran as a Green and is now changing the system from the inside. He has worked to provide affordable housing, helping the disadvantaged. In other words, changing the system from the inside. Noted film maker Scott Crawford (Salad Days and Boy Howdy) is documenting Joe’s journey through politics and music, with a release of the film in 2022, the year when Keithley will be running for re-election.

Many have compared Joe to a modern day Woody Guthrie and he is always looking for a way to push “grassroots democracy” and like his idols Woody and Pete Seeger, he and the band won’t give up. 

So that in a few words is D.O.A. When they take their wild, unbridled show live show on the road, it’s a must see, because this is one of the last real punk rock bands that still gets out there and kicks ass and still tells it like it is. It’s always an atmosphere of chaos, veering out of control, but somehow, at the last minute, D.O.A., manages to reign all of it back in. And in an indescribable way, you are not quite the same afterwards. 

Hardcore 91 wins CBC Polaris Prize as one of Canada’s greatest albums of all time

D.O.A.’s seminal album ‘Hardcore 81’ was recently names as one of Canada’s all-time great musical accomplishments. ‘Hardcore 81’ was the searing piece of vinyl that influenced generations of musicians and spear headed the hardcore movement. In Novemver 2019 the CBC Polaris awards named it as one of the best (punk rock fans knew this all along anyways! Lol) beating the likes of Sarah McLaughlin, The Band, KD Laing and other notable artists.

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