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The Cockney Rejects: East End Babylon

Still blowing bubbles – of snot.

Well timed to coincide with the release of the documentary of the same name, East End Babylon is the original Oi! boys’ first album in five years and, not surprisingly, a loutish and thoroughly unreconstructed blast of rugged punk rock.

Bands of this vintage will always struggle to tap into the snotty belligerence of their adolescence, and there are far fewer rough edges on the likes of Your Country Needs You and Silvertown than there were on the Rejects’ early classics, but it’s a subtle evolution that suits them perfectly.

By their own spiky standards, the title track is a veritable epic, with a jaunty, almost Small Faces-like mid-section, but then founder members Jeff and Micky Geggus were always better songwriters than a sneering media would ever admit.

The best moments here – the surly Bang Out Of Order, the bug-eyed Grasses ‘N’ Snides – are genuinely thrilling.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.