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Joe Shithead Keithley

Band of Rebels

(Sudden Death; US: 18 Jun 2007; UK: 19 Jun 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.

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Lana Cooper has written various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2006. She's also written news stories for EDGE Media, a nationwide network devoted to LGBT news and issues. In 2013, she wrote her first novel, Bad Taste In Men, described as one part chick lit for tomboys and one part Freaks and Geeks for kids who came of age in the mid-'90s. She lives in Philadelphia and enjoys spending time with her family, reading comic books, and avoiding eye contact with strangers on public transportation. A graduate of Temple University, Cooper doesn't usually talk about herself in the first person, but makes an exception when writing an author bio.


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