With pop-punk taking a noticeable downturn recently in favour of the more vitriol venting antics of the emo-core crowd it’s refreshing to see a band emerge in 2005 clutching a bag of good, honest melodic punk gems sans _ crybaby angst.
Well, *Mybe *are that band, and _‘Small Man Syndrome’ _is said bag of gems. And yes, the correct pronunciation of their name has me stumped as well, although I did read that it stood for Mid-Year Balance Evaluation. How interesting.
While it’s unbelievable given their relative obscurity that these guys have been doing their thing for no less than 10 years, it’s clear that all their hard work has paid off, emerging with a sound as spirited and well-crafted as you’d expect from any of the big punk daddies. _‘Never Pass On’ _positively bursts with sharpened hooks that hit as hard as *The Wildhearts *ever could, whilst veritable nods to fellow UK punk supremos *Snuff *and *The Killerest Expression *resound in _‘Absynthe Makes The Heart Grow Fonder’ _to ensure a clear-cut distinction between their UK-flavoured assault and the wearily plagiarised SoCal sound.
But it’s the production on this album that really slaps you round the chops, at times far superior and punchier than Fat Wreck resident *Ryan Greene *could ever hope to achieve and thus adding immeasurable weight to the bass-hopping melodies that bound forth.
But while this is an astoundingly accomplished release for an unknown UK band there are times where you begin to see unmistakable reflections from their CD collection, and punk rock anoraks will undoubtedly find themselves squirming in an attempt to brush off all-too-familiar vocal harmonies and rhythm patterns that crop up throughout. Similarly we could’ve done without the infantile ska-punk song about dating a hooker. Actually, the less said about that song the better really.
However, overshadowing all this there is enough startling originality and gloriously addictive choruses to more than make up for it and in turn make _‘Small Man Syndrome’ _a firm fixture in forthcoming summer BBQ playlists.
8Mat Hocking's Score