The Clash smells of late seventies London and the political and economic situation in England at the time.If one were to name one classic punk group, there's many bound to refer to The Clash. London. Its initial members were all brought together from different early punk bands in the London scene, which was then just getting started. It all turned sour very quickly as the Clash became fashion victims (Designer Punks) and chased the American Dream. There was some redemption some years later with the fabulous London's Calling, but I could never see what al the fuss was about.
However their debut sees The Clash at their rawest, and is their most straightforward punk record. It's loud, it's rough, and it equips the typical and most important punk ethic: it goes back to the roots of rock `n roll. Simple three-chord riffing that makes up short songs with a simple message, often politically charged. The Clash, were known for parodying the life of the middle-class English worker. If I were a poor, and unemployed Youth in the 70's Britain, the Clash would have been my salvation, much like the Smiths were salvation to the misunderstood in the 80s and Oasis were the inspiration for bricklayers in the 90s. But it was all fake, these were part-time rebels who came from rich and privileged backgrounds. They were just pretending to be suffering from a totalitarian regime and oppression, But it worked.
They had a witty lyrical content and a charismatic combination of musicians that gave them a winning formula. After the Self Destruction, notoriety and infamy of the Sex Pistols the public were scrambling to hitch a ride on the new Phenomena " Punk". The record Company's happily sold us the CLASH.
The main musical appeal to The Clash lies in, most notably on this first record, the two main figures Strummer and Jones. The former has just about the perfect punk voice; gruff and raw, and on top of that, it's thickly London accented with a heavy dose of Britishness, masterfully shouting its way through the songs. The latter, coming up with those simple but undeniably catchy riffs and fast, short solos, as well as providing his far different, much cleaner, poppier voice on occasions, is a powerful creative force in his own way.
Raw and trebly, second to the Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks this is the only other punk album to buy.. Frontman Joe Strummer barks like a rabid bulldog, often incomprehensible, but you don't have to understand the words for the syllables to impact. Those days seem so long a go now as I pen this review and the issue sang with such gusto still haven't gone away, perhaps that tells a story in itself.
The kids of 77 are now nearly 50 with mortgages and careers a nice 4 x 4 and a villa in Portugal. So much for Teenage Kicks - We grow up an like a caterpillar morph into something our teenage shadow would dispise.
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