Joe “Shithead” Keithley

Joe “Shithead” Keithley

Joe “Shithead” Keithley

Band of Rebels

Sudden Death

While not as potent as Joe Strummer’s solo releases, Joe “Shithead” Keithley’s DOA-less musical effort is fraught with noteworthy elements. For one, the so called “godfather of Canadian punk” has gone way, way out on the rockabilly limb. Momentarily set aside are the more aggressive, hardcore moments of his day-job band, and attention is given to shining sparkles of ’50s greaser rock ‘n’ roll, early ska and Sun Records-era country.

His band of rebels are too many to name, but let’s just say that they include trumpet players, stand up bass-men, a violinist and a keyboard player. You get the feeling that Keithley is really trying to dig through every element of rock ‘n’ roll’s history and snatch the bits and pieces he likes best to throw all into the same pot. He even dabbles in hip hop with the pseudo-rap (oh yeah, he actually went there) “Fuck the Corporation.” While that particular exploration is a bit ill-advised, songs like the ska-infused “Bust Me Loose” and the rockabilly romp “Wake Me Up For the Revolution” are high points on an otherwise middle of the road album.

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