Friday, February 23, 2007


Talking 'bout, er, clash, this reminds me - why does everyone hate "Cut the Crap" so much? I think it's a really fun album, and much better than 80% of "Sandinista!" and "Give 'Em Enough Rope". Take Joe Strummer going mad and issuing nutso communique's urging kids to get out on the streets and riot, weld that to a drum machine and some seriously cheap and dated synthesizer, and what sounds like an army of beered-up blokes yelling the song title in each chorus, and you've got a porky prime cut of trash rock. The first track "Dictator" sounds like the opening credits to some godawful 80s Rambo-esque action movie and the record gets better from there. Some of the lyrics are so gauche even Billy Idol wouldn't touch them - needless to say, it's a hoot hearing Strummer sneer I'm gonna be a dirty punk / While my brother dresses clean / He used to be the local hunk / Now the girls all ride in my machine....seriously. Also, it's great that they waited til the 'classic' line-up had dissolved before recording the hysterical "We Are The Clash", as if they were just starting out....

I suppose "This is England" is respectable enough, and probably the only track off the LP most Clash fans will admit to liking, but it seems nobody could get into the hyperactive, synth-heavy jumparound of "Are You Red...Y?". Well, MOJO hacks are wrong, this is well worth checking out (admittedly, you probably don't want to spend TOO much money / time on tracking down a copy - 1p on eBay's about right). But "Cut the Crap" is an ingenious slice of underground punk history, guaranteed to blow away those dark clouds as effectively as it blew away the group's reputation (at the time - their legacy remains untouched purely cos this black sheep of an album's been airbrushed from their history). You'll either weep or cackle your brains out....
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