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COCK SPARRER – ‘Forever’ Album Review

COCK SPARRER – Forever

cock-sparrerLegendary London street punk band Cock Sparrer are gearing up to release their first new album in ten years – ‘Forever’ is released June 2nd on Randale/Pirates Press Records. The band initially started out in 1972 and gigged with the likes of the Small Faces, Thin Lizzy, Motorhead, Slade amongst others, before being caught up in the emerging punk scene (the band were courted by Malcolm McLaren pre-Pistols for management). In 2017, Cock Sparrer celebrate their 45th year as a band, 45 years of being child friends and a career that sees them getting more popular by the year.

The brilliant new album opens with a superb track all about the community they have created celebrating “with mates like these, we’ll take our enemies”One By One is an Oi classic full of singalong, fist punching the air, terrace chants.

Believe is another rabble rousing, well produced, up front cockney vocals song showing a band that knows what it’s doing and does it well! Jimmy Pursey and the Sham 69 guys would have been proud to record a track like this…two songs in and I’m smiling, singing along and searching for the Doc Martens!!

There are 16 tracks on the album (these boys don’t believe in anything but providing value for money). They tell stories about the working class way of life, the value of friendship the loss of love and it’s the latter that Cock Sparrer focus on with Gonna Be Alright (albeit looking at the loss through the eyes of the girlfriend!) Don’t Tell Anyone Anything rocks it up with a rollicking romp that is set up live audience interaction…loved it!

How Cock Sparrer manage to sound as fresh, vital and relevant after 45 years is surely down to their camaraderie, being embraced by the British and, eventually, worldwide Oi! scene and, to their clear songwriting chops. This album is bloody brilliant, chock full of classics. Family Of One opens with a prominent guitar solo and then offers a hook laden approach with the guitar morphing and interplaying with the vocals throughout – it has a more sophisticated feel.

In1983 Cock Sparrer released the seminal Shock Troops which today is a certified classic and regularly features in the ‘most influential punk album ever’ polls. With Forever, they have added to their legend and this one is bound to get some serious play around the world. Every Step Of The Way takes on the subject of soldiers and how they need support with melody a plenty whilst In My Town brings that ‘tug at the heartstrings’ wailing guitar intro and a song about as British Oi/punk that you will hear this decade – loved every minute of it. At the half way-point, we are treated to Contender, another anthem showing the bands sense of humor as they take the piss out of a showboat – great fun!

Nothing Like You ups the pace again with a set of lyrics again celebrating the connection the band have with their followers stating that we have much in common and the backing vocals add the punch! On I’ve Had Enough, Cock Sparrer deliver what they do best with soaring guitar, chunky power chords, hooks a plenty and a nostalgia for better days through the lyrics. They maintain the momentum with Somebody’s Brother, Somebody’s Son a slightly darker song about a stabbing that build and builds lamenting the loss of a life through murder – both protagonists lose their life via a stupid deed!

Us Against The World is another of those “we’re in this together” anthems that will be sung at concerts and at closing time! Up With This is all about being nagged by the missus and it’s fun and then Sons Of The New Millenium is a hook infested raucous romp channeling the Rejects/The Business and Sham 69 in one sub-three minute package!

The penultimate track, You Lost The War, stomps along with some terrace chant backing vocals and it nicely sets up the closer, We’re The Good Guys, a faster punk rock anthem that leaves you satisfied and with a huge smile on you face akin to watching your team come from 3-0 down to win 4-3 in injury time.

Rarely do a band get the reaction that these guys do. A Cock Sparrer show is an event. It’s like cup final day – A family singalong! – A true knees up!

When Cock Sparrer formed in 1972 all they wanted to do was have a laugh, pull some birds and give everyone a good night out. As the band say “2 out of 3 ain’t bad.”

This is a fine album, the band have packed 45 years of experience into 16 tracks that you’ll play again and again…get this one!

 

 

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