Cock Sparrer

Here We Stand

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Thirty years on and Cock Sparrer is still exactly what you'd want them to be. Exploding out of the speakers with all the energy and anger of bands one-third their age, but with the experience to know that you need more than that to survive, Here We Stand is defiantly first-wave punk, but shot through with the kind of balls that actually make you glad it's 2008. The opening "Too Late," all chiming Buzzcocks guitar and factory-fodder lyrics, gets things off to an astounding start -- imagine the Small Faces if Steve Marriott teamed up with the Clash; and then imagine they made an entire album together, because that's where Here We Stand is heading. "Gotta Get Out," "True to Yourself," "Better Than This" -- most albums kick off with a frenzied one-two punch, but Cock Sparrer not only keeps it up for song after song, they up the ante as well; "Did You Have a Nice Life Without Me" isn't simply an exhilarating noise, it also packs a sentimental punch that will leave you wondering where the rest of your own life went. Fourteen songs and not a sour note in sight. Back when Cock Sparrer was a fledgling band, you could say that about a lot of records. These days, well, thank God somebody still remembers how to do it.

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