After the well received debut album by The Clash, this release, their next album, was not as well received as the debut. Still, it is historically relevant and quite worth viewing, so let’s jump in and do so. Bear in mind that this is a Punk Rock album, but nonetheless should be an interesting listen musically, so let’s hear it.
We begin with Safe European Home which begins with some very Punk Rock chords, bile singing and a decent song structure. It is simple music and really good and effective listening. Lyrically, it comes across as a modern day Punk poetry here, which is different. Interesting listening, and it just sounds terrific here. There are some cool Punk/Reggae styled chords in the middle here, which are different. A good song, and a very decent start to this album. It has an extended outro with lone guitar chords and singing here, a nice effort, before the rest of the song fades back in. Awesome and brilliant.
Next along is English Civil War which begins with chugging guitar parts and a catchy melodic sensibility, looking back to the band’s home UK heritage. This is no doubt one of the highlights of this album, and just sounds really excellent, melodic and has a very decent guitar solo here as well. The call cry from The Clash in their singing is really awesome here, and the song is really energetic and lively. A really top piece of music, with an awesome sustained guitar chord fade out. Energetic.
Tommy Gun comes along next, with drum rolls and loud, feedback guitars. It quickly goes into a really cool an biting tune. This is seen as one of the better songs from this album, and is raw, direct and energetic listening. Joe Strummer’s singing and guitar playing makes him come across as a Punk Rock legend here, and this song is very, very good. The rolling snare beats are fantastic, and The Clash paint some decent and confronting imagery here. A decent set of great guitar solos are here, and this piece sounds wonderful and uplifting. It ends with some really loud guitar and drum rolls synchronized, of course.
Julie’s Been Working For The Drug Squad which begins in a quirky way, with some excellent piano. It tells the tales of drug busts and other ongoings here, which are really different. Sure, it may seem a little naff musically, but is really quite hilarious lyrically. A great combination of Punk guitars and classy piano, and is a reminder of why exactly not to take drugs in society. Let’s face it, drugs aren’t great anyway, so this is a decent song about that. Excellent song all the same.
Next is Last Gang In Town is a decent, if a little cheesy piece that is actually quite catchy. Clever, witty and very Punk Rock, The Clash do wonderfully here. A really excellent piece that is quite underrated here, detailing a search for criminals. Pretty direct, it is an excellent piece of music that is very fitting and melodic here. Very good music, and way better than Sandinista! ever was as an album, it is a fitting piece by The Clash. Proving much more worth longevity wise than The Sex Pistols, this is a really great listening experience all the same. Decent tune, if a little bit long, but it still has decent quality songs by The Clash. An extended guitar solo is here at the end, sounding more like Classic Rock here, really, which is interesting. Decent nonetheless.
Following is Guns On The Roof which begins with a counted intro, before going into a very catchy three chord riff piece that is superb. It is powerful, raw and energetic here and points to violence and ideological hypocrisy here. The Clash still Rock hard, and deserve to be heard here. A short, three minute piece of music that sounds really excellent and awesome, this is great and classy sounding. Joe Strummer sings about wanting to be in dangerous locations, before a nice guitar solo enters. Good song, once again.
Drug-Stabbing Time begins with some dirty guitar riffs that are quite awesome, before launching into a good Punk Rock piece about a nasty piece that is likely to offend some. It has some interesting saxophone in the background, and is very much out-there lyrically and musically. Still, this is a good song that is quite listenable. It’s a pretty dark, direct and close-to-the-bone subject, but should not be taken too seriously. A bit repetitive though, but that is okay at this point. Good song though, if not a very confrontational one.
Stay Free begins with some good guitar chords, and singing by lead guitarist Mick Jones, who sounds like a hybrid between Joe Strummer and John Lennon vocally. It is a more Reggae sounding piece about life as it was back then. Still, a good song, although some of the album here may seem lacking by some listeners. Despite that, this album is a good listen and can put some listeners and critics to shame for that. Great sounding and a decent instrumental, this is a good listen with some nice guitar work, especially towards the end. It fades out gently.
Next along is Cheapskates which begins with a loud drum intro, before going into a good musical piece that is quite nasty and direct. It is a good song that sounds really angry, both musically and lyrically. A really good piece of sonic sound, this is a really good piece which rails against human stupidity. Some more Classic Rock style lead guitar is here, which doesn’t really sound entirely like The Clash, but is good anyway. A good Punk Rock song, which is an interesting mission statement. It ends with drum rolls and a little bit of morse code.
Last song here is All The Young Punks (New Boots And Contracts) which is an extended piece (for The Clash) around five minutes long. It is a more focused musical piece that sounds really good and intense, and sounds like some direct talk about the youth of England. It is a decent musical piece, even though some of the guitar work here isn’t the best, to be honest. It seems to be an aggressive message to those who follow Punk music about how they are (somewhat) missing the point. There is an interesting set of guitar parts throughout, and just sounds really good all the same. A good piece of music to finish the album, which is an underrated and overlooked album today. It points ahead to the glories of London Calling and beyond, good effort.
This is a good album, just short of being a great album as it sounds like the tracks here are a little off and could have been better worked on. Still, it is better than some other Punk music based releases out there, and just sounds like if you need a good dose of energetic, simple and confrontational music, this is a good place to start, although maybe not the best place to start. A good album all the same.
Angry young man’s music.
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