They Who Laugh Last...

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The first of Gundog's two late-'90s albums sounds -- quite intentionally -- like the great lost Oi! album of 1980. Short, self-explanatory titles like "Bouncer," "West London," and "Boots" (which even has an honest-to-goodness "Oi! Oi! Oi!" chorus) cover the band's landscape, and songs like "Stupid Hippies," "G-Man," and "Ponce" jeer at the opposition. The lyrics are nothing special, the tunes are competent but unexceptional street punk, and only the closing "At the Front" even pretends to have much in the way of melodic hooks. The follow-up album, A Dog's Eye View, would be more mature and much less derivative, but unless you've been up nights praying for a Peter & the Test Tube Babies reunion, They Who Laugh Last... just sounds like a band mimicking its influences to no great effect.

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