Sympos Hard as Nail Punts EP

This EP paints itself into a corner pretty early into the first track. Tough guys singing about tough shit amongst the “Oi! Oi! Oi!”s, and bellyachings. The EP comes off as a satire (maybe that’s the point?) before we hit the halfway mark, and it is hard to take any of it with a straight face. Why does it all come off as antagonizing? Hope I don’t get beat up now.

Sympos More Sympos EP

What an absolute joy this was to discover. From the most un-Oi!-like choppy, angular guitar stabs to the distinctly Waterfordian accent, I was immediately shaken from the malaise that a thousand crappy “Oi! in name alone” releases that are farted out by labels that should know better will sink you into. As indebted to the first-wave ’77 mob and anorak-clad post-punkers as traditional skinhead fare, it’s undoubtedly more musically complex than one might expect. However, the lyrical content, with tongue embedded firmly in cheek, covers topics as broad as “fighting down the pub,” “drinking down the pub,” and “car insurance”—it’s a lot of fun crammed into its all-too-brief runtime.