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Joe Shithead Keithley
Band Of Rebels
Sudden Death Records
www.suddendeath.com


Singer/guitarist/label owner formerly known as Joey Shithead has been going non-stop with D.O.A. since '78, and thus requires more respect than his punk moniker allows. You may now call him Joe Keithley. While D.O.A. has recently been drifting in this direction with more ska and piss-take cover songs, the name change is essential since Band Of Rebels leans more to straight rock than punk. Keithley has always had gruff vocals, and now he sports a continual gargle regardless of the style utilized.

From the rollicking bravado of "Rebel Kind" to anarchic anthems, horns-a-plenty keep the content from bar-band status. Keithley takes a stab at clunky ska on the 420-friendly "Bust It Loose" whose cartoonish stupid fun emphasizes the stupid. The power of two starts with the hilarious "When Power Came To Canada" which paints Canadians as barefooted yokels running out of the hills to form Nomeansno and BTO. The good natured self-parody makes this prime to replace "Little Black Flies" as the North's 2nd national anthem. "People Power" on the other hand is a singable fist-pumper to energize the disaffected. Likewise the sea shanty "Wake Me Up For The Revolution," which is one step away from a New Model Army call to arms.

"Fuck The Corporation" is funk/rap as done by Office Space's Michael Bolton, while "Troublemaker" is a Crampsy, surfy, dunebuggy tune for kicking sand in the face of 98 lb. weaklings. Besides a passable cover of "Born To Be Wild" and a bizarre take on "Goodnight Irene," the only other notable mention is the overly serious Star Trek tribute "Men For All Ages." Dude, you're seriously creeping me out now.

A decent release all told, Keithley's voice is an acquired taste for the uninitiated, and the broad strokes he uses may be too Marvel vs DC for some. I liked it to tide me over until the next D.O.A.

-Ewan Wadharmi


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