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Cockney Rejects, The - 1982 The Wild Ones

ARTIST: Cockney Rejects, The
ALBUM: The Wild Ones
SERIAL: a.k.a. 1
YEAR: 1982


LINEUP: Jeff Turner - vocals * Mick Geggus - guitars * Vince Riordan - bass * Keith Warrington - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Way Of The Rocker * 02 City Of Lights * 03 Rock N Roll Dream * 04 Til' The End Of The Day * 05 Some Play Dirty * 06 Let Me Rock You * 07 Victim Of The Cheap Wine * 08 Hells A Long Way To Go * 09 Heat Of The Night

The Cockney Rejects are somewhat of a British rock institution, known mostly for their notorious exploits as the premier 'oi!' act of the late 70's and early 80's, with such tracks like 'War On The Terraces', 'In The Underworld', We are the Firm' and their ode to West Ham United - 'Forever Blowing Bubbles'. The East End lads attained a large following for their punk ethic but in the early 80's the band changed tack radically and turned their focus towards a hard rock/metal style. To say it worked would be an understatement as this album blows away many a premier rock act in 1982, particularly the ones it emulates, making this a stunningly successful transformation. Pete Way handled production, helping matters and turning the band into a mini version of his own band UFO.

The Songs
The band had composed songs earlier in their career titled 'Headbanger' and 'The Rocker', but it comes full circle with opener 'Way Of The Rocker', with a vicious Rose Tattoo approach, with Turner (actually Jeff Geggus in reality) utilising an Angry Anderson meets Steven Tyler rasp, only more scathing than Angry himself. It's hard rock of the heaviest kind and sets an immediate tone. 'City Of Lights' is the first UFO inspired track, with more Rose Tattoo style slide guitar and Turner's vocals are so far removed from his one time cockney drawl it's hard to believe it's the same singer. Turner emulates Tyler once again during 'Rock 'n' Roll Dream, another brutal rocker, the guitar work from Geggus absolutely furious. This is followed by a cover of The Kinks 'Till The End Of The Day', which is easily dismssed, only Turner now could pass for Gary Holton. What comes next is the best copy of 70's Aerosmith I've ever heard, 'Some Play Dirty' straight from 'Toys In The Attic' or 'Rocks', Turner again doing his best Tyler impersonation set to riffs that blow Joe Perry away complete with ubiquitous harmonica. To be honest Aerosmith themselves did a fine job reaching these levels with their own 'Rock In A Hard Place' that same year. An atmospheric keyboard intro adds another notch in the bands belt, 'Let Me Rock You' doing that naturally, another UFO workout with a heroic chorus, pure metal. 'Victim Of The Cheap Wine' walks all over the likes of Def Leppard for hard rock aggression in 1982, with a superb sing-a-long hook and a chugging rhythm section. There's plenty of room for Geggus to solo in true metal fashion, which he does with ease. The riffing is turned up a notch for 'Hell's A Long Way To Go', giving it a heavy metal guise in the denim and leather mould ala Saxon, with a commerical chorus high on melody which could have been a hit. 'Heat Of The Night' caps things off in more UFO territory, this one so closely that it might be UFO circa 1974. Everything is done to detail to the point this is more UFO than anything UFO were doing on 'Mechanix'. Did Way realise this while producing this album? It is performed with such passion and energy it doesn't matter if it is a clone. If you're going to turn your attention to metal might as well take a riff or two from the best.

In Summary
The bands work prior to 'The Wild Ones' is not exactly Glory Daze material, but this easily qualifies. While they summed up England in the early 80's with their working class ideals this shift to metal shows how talented the band was. Hardcore fans of course viewed the move as a joke and the album didn't set the charts on fire leading to the band keeping silent for much of the 80's, releasing sporadic albums along the way, including another metal effort, 1990's 'Lethal.' Still hard at it, with their most recent release 2007's 'Unforgiven', the band are legends of their kind and 'The Wild Ones' is essential for the hard rock purist out there. Rawness in its purest form.

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#1 | gdazegod on October 17 2008 21:44:15
This sounds interesting.. Shock
#2 | englandashes on October 18 2008 10:57:26
Also, always remember that when the changed into 'The Rejects', their release 'The Quiet Storm' got favourable reviews, still on my wants list.
#3 | MUSCLE on October 19 2008 04:29:18
a right corker from the boysGrin
#4 | Harvey Mettle on October 20 2008 14:08:10
A great LP and so is Quiet Storm, although that is more in a Humble Pie/Faces/Free style. The Lp prior to Wild Ones, 'Power and The Glory' is quite listenable too, not the Oi sound of the earliest stuff. It sees the band moving very close to 'heavy metal'
#5 | Eric on March 03 2010 02:23:11
Just arrived in the post today. First listen and I'm impressed. Thanks for the tip on this one Alun.
#6 | dangerzone on March 03 2010 04:19:47
Thanks Eric. I find myself listening to this one all the time.
#7 | gdazegod on March 03 2010 06:13:46
i have just grabbed this, The Power And The Glory and The Quiet Storm - all off Soulseek.

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