Review Summary: Jello Biafra allies with Canuck punk barnstormers, resulting an aural assault weapon more effective than white phosphorous.
When Jello Biafra, punk's mad professor, proposed a collaboration album with ailing yet amazingly influential, vital, and talented Canadian hardcore pioneers DOA, ears all over the scene pricked up. This had potential; punk rock was being usurped by the grunge explosion of the turn of the decade and two of the genre's biggest players were uniting for what could quite plausibly be a last hurrah. The result is nothing short of tremendous, not to mention criminally underrated.
What we have here is an arsenal of six prime cuts of purposeful and muscular hardcore punk, shot through with Biafra's trademark brand of off-the-wall sardonicism, making it a frequently hilarious mini-album. Opener That's Progress can be found on Fat Wreck Chords' Rock Against Bush Vol. One, where it shines out against a backdrop of unspectacular B-sides and album filler; a slightly disturbing cheerled intro leads into a crunchy and catchy riff and driving, urgent drumbeat. This is pleasingly different from the somewhat frenetic DOA of Hardcore 81, a masterpiece, albeit a schizophrenic one. With Biafra at the helm, Sh!thead and company have produced a focussed and targeted attack which pushes all the right Big Red Buttons.
This theme continues with Attack of the Peacekeepers, something of an '80s throwback but all the richer for it, a melodic yet powerful broadside to NATO actions in Eastern Europe; aping Motorhead with jet fighter sound effects thrown in? Dirty, but great fun. Power Is Boring is a snide commentary about the pitfalls of autocratic government from the point of view of the dictator himself, and Wish I Was In El Salvador is an affecting but furious jibe at police violence, further in riched by another Biafra staple which is the sarcastic monologue.
Just as the album runs close to being monotonous, not one but two curveballs are hurled our way. Their cover of We Gotta Get Out Of This Place by the Animals instantly conjures images of a filthy, smoggy inner-city precinct on an artificially scorching summer day, and for the first time we hear Joey Sh!thead's slurred, raspy vocal turns bursting through on the chorus. The album is closed in truly majestic style with 13-minute stomper Full Metal Jackoff, which despite using the same riff, melody and beat throughout never ever lulls in its viciousness and never ever becomes boring, largely down to the immediately shout-able chorus and interestingly broad subject matter; Willie Horton, the injection of cocaine into America's cities by the CIA, and government corruption at large. By the time Biafra's closing with his warbled chant of 'Embrace the red white and blue reich', you're left tired and satisfied. Despite spanning only six tracks, the latest tactical weapon from the Biafra/DOA arms facility is enough to rock any city to its foundations.