It wasn't long before punk rock expanded beyond just New York City, London, and Los Angeles during the mid- to late '70s, as evidenced by the emergence of the long-running Vancouver, Canada-based outfit D.O.A. They are often credited, alongside bands like Black Flag, Germs, Angry Samoans, and Bad Brains, as co-founders of the hardcore scene -- their sophomore effort, Hardcore '81, even references the term. Known for their outspoken, politically charged rhetoric and deference to causes like anti-racism, environmentalism, and anti-globalization, the band has been operating since 1978, with singer/guitarist Joey Shithead Keithley serving as the group's only consistent member. Despite numerous lineup changes and shifting musical landscapes, the group has held true to its blue-collar hardcore origins during its decades-long run.
Originally formed in 1978, D.O.A. have been led from the beginning by singer/guitarist Joe Keithley (aka Joey Shithead), joined by a wide variety of other bandmates through the years (including future Black Flag/Danzig/Social Distortion drummer Chuck Biscuits), although guitarist Dave Gregg was present for most of the hijinks up until 1990. The same year as their formation, D.O.A. issued a debut EP, Disco Sucks, before following it up with a pair of full-lengths that many longtime fans consider D.O.A.'s classic recordings, 1980's Something Better Change and 1981's Hardcore '81 (a popular compilation of both releases plus early tracks reared its head in 1984 as Bloodied But Unbowed).
Since the beginning, Keithley has been unafraid to voice his political opinions (a renowned D.O.A. slogan among their faithful is "Talk - Action = 0"), which at one point landed him in jail. D.O.A. would go on to sporadically issue albums throughout the '80s and '90s (including such highlights as 1982's War on 45, 1985's The Dawning of a New Error, and 1993's Loggerheads). The group also found time to collaborate with another outspoken punk leader, former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra, on 1990's Last Scream of the Missing Neighbors. Like Biafra before him, Keithley took the plunge and attempted to enter politics, running as a candidate in Canadian provincial and civic elections for the Green Party in 1996. Keithley also runs his own indie record company, Sudden Death Records, and issued an autobiography in late 2003 titled I, Shithead: A Life in Punk. D.O.A. continued strong to into the 2010s, as evidenced by such releases as 2002's Win the Battle, 2008's Northern Avenger, 2010's Talk - Action = 0, 2015's Hard Rain Falling, and 2018's Fight Back. As a result of Keithley's hard work, D.O.A. are often name-checked as an important influence by other hardcore/punk bands, including such notables as Green Day, the Offspring, Rancid, and Propagandhi. ~ Greg Prato, Rovi