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Articles Home » 1990 Articles » Cockney Rejects, The - 1990 Lethal
Cockney Rejects, The - 1990 Lethal

ARTIST: Cockney Rejects, The
ALBUM: Lethal
LABEL: Neat Records
YEAR: 1990


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

TRACK LISTING: 01 Bad Man Down * 02 Penitentiary * 03 Struttin' My Stuff * 04 Lethal Weapon * 05 Rough Diamond * 06 Go Get It * 07 Down 'n' Out * 08 One Way Ticket * 09 Once A Rocker * 10 Take Me Higher


Some year's back The Cockney Rejects were featured here with their 1982 hard rock classic 'The Wild Ones' which was a total departure from their infamous Oi! Days of the late 70's and early 80's. On that album the band shifted to a sound inhabited by producer Pete Way's band UFO, with nods to Aerosmith and numerous others along the way. They took this direction further on 1984's 'The Quiet Storm' under the amended title The Rejects, trying to dispense further with their past. It didn't do much good and the band folded in 1985, despite the strength of their rock albums. Sensibly the lads reformed in 1990 after renewed interest following some unreleased collections, but anyone hoping for a return to the punk era were left in the lurch, as 'Lethal' again pursued the hard rock and metal direction. This time it was suited to the sensibilities of the late 80's and was even more blatant than 'The Wild Ones.'

The Songs
If the song titles alone don't make you laugh and piss your pants in anticipation then nothing in music surely will. This album is simply a classic of its kind, with the band imitating and exceeding a host of bands. 'Bad Man Down' opens in a pure replication of Brian Johnson era AC/DC, with Turner sounding more like Johnson than the man himself. The riffs are solid and this is far heavier and convincing than anything off 'The Razors Edge' from Angus and the boys. If hearing the Rejects outdo Iron Maiden is on your agenda, then 'Penitentiary' will serve that need, with the galloping riffs as heavy as you like and guitar work that recalls 'Number Of The Beast' or 'Piece Of Mind' era Maiden. Commercial hard rock is achieved with ease on the confident 'Struttin' My Stuff' and 'Lethal Weapon' is a convincing mixture of Rose Tattoo and Aerosmith, with an edge those bands had long since lost in 1990. Then comes the almost shocking inclusion of power ballad 'Rough Diamond' with its acoustic guitar and huge AOR chorus. This is well crafted and far from a joke and in the hands of Def Leppard would have been a hit without question. 'Go Get It' is straight ahead metal and I'm amazed how much more consistent this is than what a band like Saxon was doing at the time, not to mention heavier. The cornball riffs of 'Down n' Out' again have that Aerosmith 70's tinge, but it's so good it really has no bearing on the song itself. Nothing can top the synth and drum machine tandem on 'One Way Ticket' which sounds like The Clash in 1985 mixed with ZZ Top on 'Afterburner'. When I say I listened to this stunned, I'm completely serious. There's even female backing vocals in the mix, a great melodic track that shows how talented and diverse the band was when pursuing different styles. 'Once A Rocker' is an anthem as you'd expect, with references to leather and chains and a distinct late 80's production sound. Once again Aerosmith becomes the focal point, this time on 'Take Me Higher' with the emphasis wisely on the 'Toys In The Attic' and 'Rocks' period. I don't recall hearing such a perfect replica of that much plundered sound.

In Summary
This was the end of the bands hard rock years, but they really laid down some quality material on the 1982-90 albums and although their return to their original sound was predictable some years later, they hit their straps perfectly on all three albums. There's something for everyone on 'Lethal' and it's the mark of a great band and the end of a memorable era.

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#1 | gdazegod on April 17 2014 12:28:14
Cockney Rejects - Rough Diamond

#2 | gdazegod on April 17 2014 12:29:40
Cockney Rejects - One Way Ticket

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