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Picks and Pans Review: Cut the Crap

updated 01/20/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/20/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Clash

When they burst on the scene in 1977, the Clash demanded attention as a strident punk group with a number of political axes to grind. Now with a revamped lineup on which the only original members are guitarist/singer Joe Strummer and bassist Paul Simonon, the Clash seems mostly buffoonish. Tracks such as Dictator and Play To Win, clamorous and atonal to begin with, are further weakened by the addition of distracting background chatter. Buzzing guitar tones dominate the mix, which may not be such a bad idea considering Strummer's rank voice. The group eschews harmony in favor of ragged choruses shouted in unison as if a drunken soccer crowd had wandered into the recording session. Diehard Clash fans are advised to try Big Audio Dynamite, a new group fronted by former Clash member Mick Jones. That band manages to make social commentary a lot more pleasing to the ear. (Epic)

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