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I like to imagine that on tour in 1981, D.O.A. would form a circle, holding hands, and Joey Shithead would give a little motivational speech like: “We are the punkest punk band in Canada. No-one is punker than us and we have been everywhere.” Now it’s 2006, and their first “Best of” is being re-released as proof that while they probably weren’t the punkest (the Subhumans get that title on the basis of “one of our band members bombed a missile factory” alone), they were exceptionally thorough about being punk. Wrapping the garage pop sensibilities of other Can-punk bands like The Viletones around the speed of American west coast punk they clearly had the jump on– thereby being more slam dance-worthy and memorable than anyone else for at least a few years. Only two of the songs seem dated– World War 3 and Fucked Up Ronnie–both of which sting of wanting to appeal to American fans who probably wouldn’t take a Canadian’s point of view on American politics seriously in a million years (so you can probably ignore the 4 minutes and 51 seconds taken up by them). I know you have it in you–and you need to put a spacer between Complete Discography and Damaged anyway–or the other punks will think you’re a poser. (Matt Collins)

CD, Sudden Death Records

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