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Live Free or Die

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Album Review

Leave it to a Canadian to spell out something a fair amount of early 21st century Americans seem to have forgotten — then again, Joey Keithley, under the Joey S******d guise or not, has inadvertently made a career out of just that. If Live Free or Die isn't any reinvention of the wheel, on the heels of Keithley's brilliant autobiography I, S******d, it's a potent reminder of what energy and demons make him do what he does in the first place — rock loudly and politically, no holds barred. That said, those who haven't tuned into D.O.A. for a bit might be pleasantly surprised by some of the twists and turns on this one — for a start, a number of songs are the trio's own way around ska, backed up with some guest performers on horns. The results are the merrily-bouncing if lyrically sharp "Earache," "Drive My Car" (no, not that one) and "You Won't Stand Alone (ska-sized)," with a subtitle that gives it away. Covers play a strong role throughout, with such familiar landmarks of an earlier protest generation — "Masters of War" by Dylan (with Keithley doing a mean-as-hell version of the guitar melody), Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" and "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival — getting a brisk high-speed workover. Keithley himself sounds a bit in high and strangled voice throughout — perhaps not so oddly enough it calls to mind his friend and past collaborator Jello Biafra more than anyone else — while the performances are generally fine without being remarkable. But it's hard to fault a band that aims at a particular goal while still showing the strength of what Keithley brought to bear back in the late '70s — perhaps the more things change, the more things do stay the same after all.


Formed: 1978 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Cana

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

It wasn't long before punk rock expanded beyond just New York City, London, and Los Angeles during the mid- to late '70s, as evidenced by the emergence of the long-running Vancouver, Canada based outfit, D.O.A.. Originally formed in 1978, D.O.A. has been led from the beginning by singer/guitarist Joe Keithley, (aka Joey Shithead), who has been joined by a wide variety of other bandmates through the years (including future Black Flag/Danzig/Social Distortion drummer Chuck Biscuits), although guitarist...
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Live Free or Die, D.O.A.
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