Cock Sparrer – Forever

8 Overall Score
Catchiness: 10/10
Maturity: 9/10
Rebellious nature: 7/10

A quirky view into punk for the present day

Veering dangerously into 'dad rock'



What happens when punks are dragged kicking and screaming into 2017? Iconic street louts Cock Sparrer celebrate 45 rebellious years together with seventh full-length venture ‘Forever’, crammed with huge hooks and an instrumental prowess befitting their longevity.

Street punk wasn’t built to last – anarchy and social despondency only truly applied to a marginalised youth rebellion scene. London’s Cock Sparrer greet the scene after a decade away with their seventh album ‘Forever’, an album of maturity that often snugly fits into its denim jacket and Doc Martens, but there’s enough distance placed between their legacy and their current concerns.

“With mates like these, we’ll take our enemies,” hollers the utterly contagious spirit of ‘One by One’, dropping the occasional nod to classic ‘Take ‘Em All’ to boot. ‘Somebody’s Brother, Somebody’s Son’ comes charged with a soaring hook and a despondent theme that pulls their trademark attitude out into the sun. ‘Nothing Like You’ narrates a social competition they know all too well, marked by the terrifically energetic guitars of ‘You Lost the War’ that suggest they’ve not aged a day since ‘England Belongs to Me’. The gritty ‘Up With This’ fuels the nostalgic fire once more – if punk were to emerge in its classic guise today, this wouldn’t sound out of place whatsoever.

‘Forever’ skirts very closely to the ‘dad rock’ boundaries, however. Frontman Colin McFaull’s voice has matured incredibly, but of course the youthful tones are no longer present, and the lyrical content sometimes follows with it. The slightly too optimistic ‘Us Against the World’ and energetic ‘We’re the Good Guys’ understandably do exactly as they say on the tin. This is not to suggest that Cock Sparrer don’t suit the optimistic drawl of a post-punk era, it just grates against the old school acidic anthem of ‘I Got Your Number’.

Luckily there are far more lyrical points to celebrate than berate. “You gotta try to enjoy life but that’s a hard sell when there’s so many evil bastards in the world,” ‘Believe’ cries out – could there be a more fitting lyric for the present day? ‘Don’t Tell Anyone Anything’ is as infectious as they get – McFaull details spending his time “sending emails to the NSA letting everybody know what I’m thinking,” as we all do every Thursday afternoon.

Cock Sparrer’s survival is testament enough to their talent, and ‘Forever’ is a great mature addition to their back catalogue.

‘Forever’ is available 2nd June via Chase the Ace Records.

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Author: Ali Cooper View all posts by
Resident goth, metal historian and walking thesaurus.