It’s not exactly a secret that I think that D.O.A., along with Bad Religion and the Circle Jerks, are part the (un)holy punk rock triumvirate. They’re one of those bands that their peers aspired to be and they set an impossible benchmark that the thousands who followed in their wake have tried, and failed miserably, to reach. They pioneered the use of the word ‘hardcore’ in the punk scene, had a work ethic that left Black Flag in awe and four decades after they first plugged in, tuned up and unleashed their pent up fury on an unsuspecting world, D.O.A. are still tearing up stages, albeit less frequently than they used to, and doing what they do best, playing catchier than a cold in a room of anti-vaxxers, beautifully vicious punk rock.
1978 collects all of D.O.A.’s earliest demos and singles and is a perfect testament to the powerhouse force of punk rock nature that D.O.A. was and still is. Okay, so most of the songs on here have not only been staple parts of the bands live set for the last four decades, they’re also the tunes that made most of us slightly more “mature” punks fall in love with them in the first place. And yes, any self-respecting fan already has most of these songs, but the infectious, rambunctious and rabid sense of energy in these versions of the Vancouver trio’s classics grabs you by the lapels and shakes you senseless. The combination of Joey Keithley’s snarl and machine gun guitar riffs and Rampage and Biscuits rhythmic destruction is one of the best unkept secrets in punk rock and in their heyday, the beginning of which is collected on 1978, there wasn’t a band that could even come close to matching D.O.A’s. onslaught. You don’t want this record, you need it. It’s that simple. Yeah hey! Tim Cundle