COCK SPARRER: Forever: LP

Aug 16, 2017

What can be said about the mighty Sparrer? Forty years of service and still banging out classic albums. This LP is as good as any that have come before (apart from the flawless Shock Troops that can’t be beaten). Anthemic pub punk asking for nothing more than a fist and a pint glass waved in the air. Thanks to Skippy at Pirates Press reissuing all their old gear and bringing out their new records, they have had somewhat of a well-deserved second wind over the past ten years. Songs about yer mates, family, and standing up for what you believe get the blood flowing. Somehow they embody the true spirit of punk rock: fun, defiance, and a good bloody time. I went in apprehensive, like when I watch the champ going in for another title defense: something has to give sometime, right? Not this time, people. The champ still got it and this LP is a punk rock clinic. Bravo. Couldn’t wish it on better bunch of chaps. Now get this onto your record player before I give you a good slap. –Tim Brooks (Pirates Press)

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CROM: The Cocaine Wars 1974–1989: CS

September 20, 2017
Los Angeles’s Crom has been kicking around for decades now in several incarnations. The earlier years saw them as a shermed-out Anal Cunt drinking Steel Reserve for sustenance with blissful ignorance to the words “song” and “structure.” Singles, splits, and compilations were released left and right and then for quite some time: nothing. That is until the year 2001 when their creative dam blew its wad and out gushed The Cocaine Wars: a full length of monolithic proportions which I can only describe as the result of group sex between the genres of metal, doom, thrash, and powerviolence. This masterpiece of an album originally released in 2001 on Pessimiser and pressed only on the now deader than dead CD format. Cocaine Wars was the band’s figurative debutante ball where they emerged as beautiful, sophisticated “artists” displaying their newfound maturity in writing memorable riffs, discernable lyrics, and stringing the album together with a smorgasbord of Easter eggs and samples from Conan films all while donning Slayer, Iron Maiden, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, and even Doobie Brothers T-shirts and patches because their hessian, metal, and classic rock roots will always show. A total of thirty songs and “sorta” songs that spread their cheeks at the underground music world and anyone else who takes themselves seriously. I do realize that the cassette, too, is a dead format but just listen to this and tell me if you’d rather party with someone blaring these tunes from a rusted old Cadillac’s tape deck or from a cell phone synched to a Prius. Take a bow, Crom. –Juan Espinosa (To Live A Lie / Snow Goat)
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