D.O.A. Talk - Action = 0.

William Gillespie

This Vancouver band credited with inventing the term "hardcore" punk is a still-thrashing contemporary of such retired D.I.Y. pioneers as Black Flag and Minor Threat. Knowing only their age and nationality, I pictured D.O.A. as a punk Anvil.

I thought wrong.

While I disagree with the math in this album's title (by my own estimate, Talk minus Action equals negative one), I don't fault the rock. Accomplished, riveting, spirited, crisp, and even melodic, these songs nail themselves home. Highlights include a convincing, phlegmatic cover of "The Times They Are A Changing," and a serious song about men for all ages, "Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty And Bones." A low point is a cover of "That's Amore" that does nothing to reduce the cringe-worthiness of that song. Still, D.O.A. gets credit for producing a hardcore punk album where I can tell the songs apart.

If the idea of pentagenarian punk rockers might have seemed oxymoronic to me at first, it now makes sense: an extra thirty years of rehearsal could benefit any indy act. Turns out that there's more to punk rock than inexperience. Let's respect the roots that tried to knock over the tree.

"D.O.A." was anything but dead on arrival. They're still kicking.


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