COCK SPARRER – Forever LP

Album: Forever

Artist: Cock Sparrer

Label: Pirate Press

Release Date: June 09, 2017

www.PiratePressRecords.com

The Upshot: A testament the vitality of punk rock when done right. And rarely has it been done this well before.

BY JOHN B. MOORE

Despite playing across London’s around the same time as the Sex Pistols, The Damned and The Clash – even showing up on the radar of punk rock Svengali Malcolm McLaren –  Cock Sparrer never achieved the global recognition of their scene mates. In fact, their label at the time dumped their 1978 debut in Spain and quickly walked away from the band (the record finally saw a proper UK release 9 years later). As the Sex Pistols were busy imploding and The Clash and The Damned experimenting with new sounds, the guys in Cock Sparrer continued to plug away at their sound, perfecting a mix of punk, pub rock and R&B that would eventually be dubbed Oi’, or street punk.

More than four decades later, Cock Sparrer are still at it, surprisingly with only one non-original band member, and have managed to turn in possibly their best record yet, Forever. Finding a home in the U.S. on the punk and vinyl-friendly label Pirate Press, the album is an exercise in brilliance spread out across a dozen tracks.

The LP, only their sixth in 45 years, kicks off with the rallying cry, “One By One,” and doesn’t let up until the last gang vocal fades out on “Us Against the World,” a song that perfectly bookends the record. For a gruff crew, the lyrics here are downright optimistic, or at least encouraging; there’s an overall theme of “shit may be falling around us, but at least we got each other” (the bitter “Family of One” being the exception here). Brimming with sharp hooks, singalong choruses, gunfire drums and ringing power chords, Forever is a testament the vitality of punk rock when done right. And rarely has it been done this well before.

DOWNLOAD: “One By One,” “Every Step of the Way” and “Us Against the World”

 

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