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D.O.A. - Right to Be Wild - 7

Right to Be Wild - 7"
Sudden Death - 1982

Michael Panontin
The first of D.O.A.'s instant benefit singles - this to help pay legal fees for the Squamish Five - is a raucous ode to nihilism. The five, which included long-time pal and former Subhuman Gerry Useless, had been involved in the 1982 bombing of defense contractor Litton Industries, who at the time were supplying guidance components for U.S. nuclear cruise missiles. A dynamite-laden van, with a warning box duct-taped to the roof to avoid human casualties, was parked in front of their Toronto-area factory. With the uncanny frequency of most bombings - state or insurgent - this one backfired, detonating too early and injuring eleven people.

The b-side, a cover of the Subhumans' 'Fuck You', flips the bird at squarehead society and is the better of the two tracks here. Damning and defiant, strafing the listener with menacing guitar licks, this is easily one of D.O.A.'s finest. Turn the record over for some rather prosaic sludge on 'Burn It Down', where Joey Shithead's scowl treads perilously close to self-parody. The guitar wank doesn't help much either.

As for the five, they were given from six years to life, including Ann Hanson, who brazenly chucked a tomato at the judge upon receiving her sentence. All are now out of prison.

(The Canadian pressing has a stark black-and-white sleeve, as well as an extra verse on 'Burn It Down' not found on the U.S. release. These tracks can be found on the primo comp D.O.A. Punk Rock Singles on Sudden Death.)



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