Syndrome 81: Desert Urbane 7"

Foreign Legion Records


The American pressing is limited to 250 copies with unique cover art. $1 from each copy will be donated to the French Red Cross to aid humanitarian efforts after terrorist attacks in November 2015. France's Syndrome 81 started gaining momentum in the Oi scene with their 2013 demo tape, drawing comparisons to the plethora of great bands that defined the French Oi sound of the 1980s with a heavy stomp culled from classic USHC. The band has progressed since then, dropping a split with Litovsk and submitting a track to a compilation with their French brethren Rixe, Outreau, and Traitre. ‘Desert Urbain’ is Syndrome 81’s first fully-realized release since that first 2013 demo. The sound is more diverse but also more defined, having filed off some of the American influences and moved in a darker, distinctly French direction that is both melancholy and anthemic, with lyrics being influenced by growing up in Brest, France.

Our take: Latest 7" from this French oi! band with a few other releases under their collective belt. This is the first one to come across my desk and it RIPS! Obviously inspired by the same old French oi! records as contemporary sensations Rixe, Syndrome 81 ply a similar sound, but with a little more variation. In particular, there are a couple of moments on this EP that are more melodic than anything on the Rixe 7", but not at the expense of any of the toughness. Basically, this is totally by the numbers oi!, perfectly executed. I feel like traditional oi! is currently undergoing a renaissance akin to what USHC underwent in the mid-00s, with a new generation of bands doing the sound with an authenticity that hasn't been matched in several decades. Along with Rixe and Crown Court, Syndrome 81 are at the front of the pack. Highly recommended.
Tags: 10s france oi! raw recommended