December National Music Reviews

Review: Bakers Dozen/Kombatants – European Invasion

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Bakers Dozen/Kombatants
European Invasion
Skinflint
Street: 10.25
Bakers Dozen = 4-Skins + Blitz + Negative Approach
Kombatants = Cock Sparrer + Vanilla Muffins + The Gang’s All Here–era Dropkick Murphys
Here are two European punk bands, firmly rooted in the Oi! traditions of writing solid (if not a teensy bit derivative) songs about braces, boots, beers, birds and (foot)ball. England’s Baker’s Dozen cop a gravel-throated, quasi-hardcore approach on their cuts (I can’t be the only one who hears the Cro-Mags similarities on “Fantasist”), equal parts stomp, swagger and the requisite flecks of “one-two-fuck-you” sloganeering borne of Jolly Old’s rainy climes. It’s great stuff, just check the great guitar work on “Boots Round Bathgate.” Sweden’s Kombatants take a decidedly more ’77 approach with vocals that bear more than a passing resemblance to Al Barr. It’s not near as crucial as the Baker’s Dozen stuff, but tracks like “Rapers” (a narrative about a gaggle of skins that hunt rapists, à la Inglourious Basterds) and the extremely un-PC “Stupid Filthy Cow” do raise the profile a tad. –Dylan Chadwick
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