The Vandals - Oi to the World! (Cover Artwork)

The Vandals

Oi to the World! (1996)

Kung Fu

So it's Christmastime once again. This year I wanted to get in the spirit of the holiday in ways other than sitting on Santa's lap and licking super special candy canes, so I figured I'll get in the spirit by contributing a review to the Punknews community. And what better to review than Oi to the World!, the Vandals Christmas album?

This is my first holiday season listening to this, and I must say it is a pretty solid one for the season.The title track is probably the best track, and the silly rhyming chorus can't help but put a Christmas grin on your face:

If God came down on Christmas Day
I know exactly what He'd say
He'd say 'Oi to the punks and Oi to the skins
and Oi to the world and everybody wins!'"
This grin is fairly consistent throughout listening to the album, as the Vandals' classic sense of humor is consistent throughout. A personal favorite is the track titled "Christmas Time for My Penis." Sure, it sounds like a junior high schooler wrote the lyrics ("I see you've / been feeling down / When I needed you, you've been around / So this year I've a Christmas surprise / that will make your spirits rise"), but that's the beauty of it. In this day and age, where chopping off your penis makes you an internet sensation, I'm sure penises everywhere welcome the warming thought; I know I do.

The Vandals continue to get in the spirit of the season with some appreciation of popular Christmas tunes. I can certainly see myself dancing along to the punked out version of "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies." Additionally, their version of "Here I Am Lord" is also a standout track, with lead singer Dave Quackenbush's classic, crackily voice. Sure, it might be more punk to listen to Bad Religion on Christmas, but, come on, it's Christmas. Why not be punk and festive?

While this record is the perfect background music while my stocking is being stuffed, it is not perfect. Some of these tracks are well-executed Vandals songs, but I can't see myself listening to some of these tracks at the beach in summer (especially "My First X-Mas (as a Woman)." I can barely listen to that now, and it's in season.

Fortunately, this is not meant to be more than a fun Christmas CD, and for that it delivers. However, don't expect a perfect one, or even a perfect Vandals album.

Merry Christmas!