Sunday Suggestion – The Clash – Clampdown

By the turn of 1979, The Clash had become the enduring force of Punk that the Sex Pistols would not be. But at this time, they were starting to enthuse their punk with reggae and elements of new wave into their sound which culminated in on of the greatest albums of all time with London Calling. It is one of the most influential pieces of political statement in music that has been produced on this island. Almost every song was not just the worthwhile fusion of genres and truth telling. One example from the vast array on this album is ‘Clampdown’. Musically, it is the simple, yet effective combination of Strummer’s rough and unmoved vocal along with Mick Jones’ softer and more delicately animated vocal. Not only offering the harmony but the depth and a shifting nature in addition to this. The instrumentals carry out the same tasks with the jolting percussive beat, the rough wash of the guitars and the bass line anchor with the wiry lead guitar solos and ringing organs. This changes with Jones’ sole vocal part with the guitars shimmering and glistening in all directions. The lyrics too are about the endless, fruitless work of people in the capital system and with subtle references to the rise of Nazism and Revolution too. A song with as much lyrical relevance as musical relevance and it’s simply a hook filled anthem on top of that too. A token of the Clash’s talent and legacy.

EP review – Poeticat – Smash The Floor

Brixton based, genre defying outfit Poeticat are to release their debut EP on May 5th. They have been subject to much intrigue and interest about their style and methods as people try to pin them down to a genre or particular sound. Being genre defying does not always guarantee success though so it’s important to keep any evaluation unflinching and matter of fact. ‘Jetty’ opens with the sounds of lapping waves with the wistful vocals and echoed guitars fading out of it. The song suddenly increases in tempo but still with the soft edged production on the rotating rhythms of the guitar and bass. The lead oscillates around the soft edged rhythms to tie up the song nicely before falling back out into a more considered part of the song. The vocal is probably the most noticeable feature. It is more evocative of someone reading aloud a poem rather than full on singing, which is something a little different and it is something that doesn’t detach itself from the instrumentals and still holds that narrative. ‘Centre of The Concrete Square’ has a brilliant opening with the spaced out percussion being built upon by the squealing and laser-like synths and the lapping, jangling guitar along with the more gentle, softer and slightly vulnerable vocal before firing into a distorted and urgent vocal from which it switches back and forth between the two, ushered in by the grinding guitars. ‘Rest Reprise’ is a haunting and floating harmonious affair with the melodic and chilling harmonies taking hold before being joined by a reverberating and distorting riff dragging the song to it’s more alert and immediate conclusion. ‘Kind Words’ opens in a similar fashion to ‘Jetty’ with the lapping waves, yet the vocals are drawn out and undulated with effects that are the same for the guitars as the slowly rotate the songs rhythm in what is another captivating song with a clear lyrical plot made more prominent through the style of the vocal. This goes on as the backing vocals gradually build along with the volume of the instrumentals. ‘3rd Arm’ begins with a gritty and clattering riff that pulsates before a more flowing lead riff hangs above it as it takes over the songs rhythm. The vocals go on to develop into their most aggressive and urgent of the EP with the rapid and flashing instrumentals pass by it. This is before the song goes from a relaxed to intense instrumental conclusion. The EP takes a while to get accustomed to but it’s one that you should keep listening to as it’s certainly a grower when you can grasp it.