D.O.A., short for Dead On Arrival, was a name that reflected their no-nonsense approach and unceasing radical stance and uncompromising musical approach that would make them one of the pioneers of the early 80's Hardcore Metal scene. With the membership Joey Shithead Keithley (vocals/guitar), Randy Rampage (bass) and Chuck Biscuits (drums) they started with a set of early 7s, including the infamous Disco Sucks EP in 1978. They then signed to Jello Biafra's (ex-Dead Kennedys) Alternative Tentacles' label to release their debut album Hardcore '81 (1981),and the highly influential album Positively DOA in 1982, an album with such political hotties as Fucked Up Ronnie, a track that underscored their Punk and radical political influences. Their appearance on 1984's Bloodied But Unbowed would prove to be another timely moment in their career. The War On 45 EP featured the arrival of new members Dave Gregg (guitar/vocals; who had actually been assisting them since 1980), Gregg James (drums) and Brian Sunny Boy Roy Goeble (bass/vocals) replacing Biscuits and Rampage respectively, who would later join Circle Jerks, Black Flag and then Danzig.
The band's deceptively simple style came to a climax on Let's Wreck The Party in 1985. At this time James subsequently departed and was replaced by Jon Card for the release of their next effort True (North) Strong And Free (1987). But more personnel changes were to follow when Dave Gregg left to form Groovaholics, with Chris Prohom replacing him for the 1990 album Murder, an album released around the same time of their collaboration with Jello Biafra titled Last Scream Of The Missing Neightbours that same year. But the act stuck by their Hardcore leaning with a set of albumsduring the 1990s but now off of Alternative Tentacles', including Talk - Action = 0 (1991), 13 Flavours Of Doom (1992), Loggerheads (1993), The Black Spot (1996) and New York Speedcore (1997) with them rejoining Alternative Tentacles' between '92 and '96.