COCKNEY REJECTS: Greatest Hits Vol. 1: CD

Back when I was a kid, there was a record shop, Roadhouse Records, next to the youth center my dad ran in Montebello. Whenever my brother and I would go with my father to work, we’d pop over to Roadhouse to peruse the shelves and stock up on punk badges and copies of Flipside. Because the owner of said record shop was a friend of my father’s, we managed to make a deal with him that if no one came in and bought the punk LPs he occasionally stocked within a month or so, he’d sell ‘em to us for two or three bucks. It worked out swell for all involved because he’d clear a room for the lame metal records that were popular at the time and we got brand new albums for a song. To make a long story short, this was one o’ those records. I remember rushing home, plopping it on the record player and being blown outta the room by what I still consider to be the UK’s answer to Black Flag. Songs like “They’re Gonna Put Me Away,” “Fighting in the Streets,” and “Police Car” easily rival that band’s best work in terms of intensity, and, like Black Flag, the Reject’s efforts helped spawn a whole new subgenre of punk rock, in their case what became known as “oi.” Twenty-plus years on, the tracks here still hold up and still generate that same sense of immediacy they did so long ago. In addition to the original album’s tracks, Captain Oi serves up the Flares and Slippers EP and some BBC sessions to sweeten the deal. In the grand pantheon of English punk rock records, this puppy ranks in the top fuggin’ three and as far as Rejects albums themselves, this is, hands down THEE BEST of the lot.

 –guest (Captain Oi)