About time! For nearly two decades since they went out of print, the first two classic punk DOA
LPs were bowdlerized into Bloodied But Unbowed
, and then, to address the numerous songs regrettably removed in the process, the Polish import (!) non-LP Greatest Shits appeared. Yet, when one considers how revolutionary and yet how distinct from each other those two LPs were, this state of affairs just made no sense. In an era when so few North American punk greats ever made an actual LP, how could two such crucial ones remain so unavailable for so long? Thankfully, here's the first of them, in its natural, restored state, just as it appeared in 1980 -- and how glorious it remains! The product of two years of solid gigging in their native Vancouver, by the hottest punk rock band the West Coast ever produced this side of the much different Weirdos
, Something Better Change
features a trio so molten, they didn't even manage to get it all down in the studio. And yet it still is an absolutely awesome record. So heavy with chops it nearly leaks, soaring like the best Clash
riffs filtered through an American anvil power even those greats couldn't approach. On the faster cuts, DOA
just turn the aggression up several notches. And on the slower cuts they prove themselves as much a strong, fiery, spit-a-flyin' rock & roll band as they are a punk one. Sadly, there is only one bonus track, the also great re-recording of their first EP "Disco Sucks" as "New Wave Sucks." But for those who thought that the English had the market cornered on late-'70s punk, DOA
could flat-out outplay them all, and this LP is a bomb with sociopolitical smarts and irreverent attitude.