in·sti·tu·tion noun \?in(t)-st?-?tü-sh?n,
something or someone firmly associated with a place or thing
There are few bands around that can be considered any kind of institution for their respective region. D.O.A. However, is such a band. A band synonymous with growing up in Canada. More specifically, growing up in Vancouver.
Year after passing year, frontman Joe Keithley could be counted on to rear his ran soaked visage in one form or another, be it heading up a D.O.A show, with any myriad of revolving door members, one of his solo shows or one of his Garage Sales, where you could shoot the shit with him over the Canucks' latest loss just as easily as haggle over the cost of a D.O.A./No Means No flyer from 1983 at the Smilin' Buddha Cabaret.
Now, after over 30 years, the band has decided to officially call it a day, in part so Keithley can pursue a political career with the NDP, or New Democratic Party. Now that the elections have passed and Keithley lost the nomination he sought, the true future of D.O.A. is anyone's guess.
Leftist leanings and outspoken activism have always been supplied the bulk of songwriting topics and while Keithley has never been or claimed to be the best-read mug on the planet, D.O.A. has maintained a working-class-hero charm that has managed to avoid the torch-and-pitchfork cries of “sellout!” from the unwashed masses.
We Come in Peace, the band's latest and presumed last album is another in a long line of adequate albums from the "Godfathers of Hardcore". Not terrible, but not particularly memorable is far from a glowing review, but were it not for the legacy of the band in question, we'd be talking about a much smaller bell curve.
With that said, We Come in Peace is not without it's highlights - “Bring Out Your Dead” and “Do You Wanna”, being two of them, as well as “We Occupy”, which reunites Keithley with guest Jello Biafra. But it's the mid or slow tempo tracks on the majority of the album that hang like an albatross around the band's neck. This is a complaint that has plagued D.O.A. through the years and while fast doesn't necessarily mean good, it does a much better job encapsulating the energy of the band. Their live shows are always a blast, but so many of their studio recordings (this being their 14th full-length), particularly the last few do little to capture that vibe. Dub-tinged “Walk Through This World” being a prime example.
D.O.A.'s slogan has long been Talk minus Action equals Zero. Now that the poll results are in and Keithley has some time on his hands again, one can hope that a proper send off worthy of the band's legacy is forthcoming and will hopefully eradicate the apathy I fear We Come In Peace will instill in his listening constituents.