If the New York Dolls would have come around after the Sex Pistols instead of before them, they would probably sound a lot like Cock Sparrer. Forgoing the snot-nosed anger of their contemporaries, the band instead pumped up the sleaze and accepted the fact that they were a rock band with punk ideals. This rarities collection is shockingly one of the best albums in their entire collection, boasting huge hooks and a killer attitude that few bands were willing to give into. Songs like "What's It Like to Be Old" are wonderful slabs of teen angst that are snide, naïve, and endearingly clever. Their topics were straight out of after-school specials, making their music the ultimate soundtrack for the angry youth of early-'80s Britain. But the wonderful thing about punk rock that isn't mired in politics is that these same topics are quite timeless, making this just as important to modern youth as it was to kids decades earlier. By utilizing some greasy guitar licks, a notebook full of teenage poetry, and the basic formula for British punk, Cock Sparrer's Rarities is a great collection of punk rock, with an emphasis on rock.
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AllMusic Review by Bradley Torreano