COCKNEY REJECTS — The Power & The Glory (review)

COCKNEY REJECTS — The Power & The Glory album cover Album · 1981 · NWoBHM Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
Vim Fuego
While the Cockney Rejects were a leading light of the oi! punk scene, they were followers when it came to metal. Apparently, the band had learned to play their instruments, and one of them had grown a mullet. It still didn’t make them a metal band, no matter how many solos they played. And when I say metal here, you need to put this in context of the time, rather than judging it by what metal is defined as now.

These guys didn’t quite get it. They learned their metal from third rate NWOBHM rejects, Led Zeppelin outtakes, and AC/DC’s lesser albums. In short, dull and boring. Let’s face it- the punks of old would have fucking hated this, and the metalheads would have fallen asleep. Placing this among its contemporaries, there is none of the chaotic energy of Motörhead, none of the skill of Iron Maiden, nor the grit of Saxon. Hell, even Def Leppard were heavier back then.

It’s not a total loss though. This is an attempt at crossover before bands like Suicidal Tendencies and D.R.I. had discovered metal. The title track echoes back to the Cockney Rejects of old, with a shouted yobbo chorus, and a more than passable main riff. Mick Geggus had also been paying attention in Guitar Solos 101, because he had a pretty good grasp on them, even if they do turn up in odd places. He even had a crack at the acoustic classical guitar style track with “Lumon”.

A big problem though, is that the lyrics are still traditional oi punk fare, which didn’t mesh well with the more metal sound. “Because I’m In Love” would have been better suited to an older punk song or 70s LA glam style. “It’s Over” starts as a power ballad, before picking up a very pedestrian, very middle-of-the-road rock beat. “BYC” has a synthesiser running through it which even Chicago or ELO would have been ashamed of.

While ‘The Power And The Glory’ is a valiant attempt to bridge the gap between punk and metal, it isn’t all that good. The old punk aesthetic of keeping it simple was completely abandoned, much to the detriment of this once legendary band. The Cockney Rejects could easily have carried on churning out oi albums like The Toy Dolls or The Business, but instead tried something a bit different. This album falls down the crack between the genres, and is ultimately unsatisfying as either a metal or a punk album.
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