[22 August 2007]
Whoever said punk music with a message had to be serious has obviously never heard of Joe Shithead Keithley. Defying the concepts of what a solo album and punk should be, right out of the gate, the Candian punk godfather, political activist, and all-around legend Keithley kicks out his mission statement on “Rebel Kind”, ripping everyone a new ass and still finding the time to include a Bill Runge-sponsored sax solo. On his second solo outing, the veteran lead singer/guitarist of D.O.A. has more fun than snot-nosed pseudo punks half his age. Politics are tempered with hardcore humor as “Bust Me Loose” tangos with ska and calls for the legalization of the stickiest of icky. From the party scene to the work force, “Fuck the Corporation” tackles office stool pigeons, corporate corruption, and sticking it to the man in an effort that makes “Take This Job and Shove It” look positively complacent. From the slightly serious to the sublimely silly, Shithead switches gears into warp speed on “Men For All Ages”, an “Abraham, Martin, and John”-like ode to the greatest of all geek forefathers: Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty, and Bones. Several covers make a guest appearance on Band of Rebels. “Born To Be Wild” is a souped-up version that stays true to the Steppenwolf original with even more of a frantically speeding punch, while Leadbelly’s “Goodnight, Irene” unfolds into a bluesy, burlesque punk drinking song complete with a group sing-a-long on the chorus. From top to bottom, Band of Rebels moves swiftly and is thoroughly enjoyable, Keithley employing his myriad of guest artists to great effect and adding further dimension to the album with each song.