Thursday, December 4, 2008

Anger Management League: Clashed by the AML

Scorcha Records (Germany)
2007


Yeah, this came out awhile ago and I'm way behind on reviewing albums that have come out much more recently--but I really dig Clashed by the AML and am compelled to write about it (so, sue me). This record (it's an import only available on vinyl; in the US you can buy it from Jump Up) is split between Clash covers on Side A (all circa 1977--the year zero of punk rock, when Strummer and Jones were trying to out punk the Sex Pistols) and, on the flip side, quite good a few good skinhead reggae originals mixed in with a dub of "London's Burning" and a smart acoustic version of Lee Perry's "Police and Thieves" (which, of course, The Clash covered on their debut). Anyone who's read England's Dreaming can tell you about reggae's huge impact on punk, and The Clash in particular--and since The Clash increasingly incorporated this genre into their songwriting with each subsequent release, culminating in the bloated but brilliant Sandinista!, it makes perfect sense for the AML to re-visit The Clash's first batch of punk songs via The Upsetters.

Alternately channeling--but not imitating--Operation Ivy ("London's Burning," "White Riot") and The Aggrolites ("Janie Jones," "Career Opportunities"), even a Skaboom-era Toasters (on the excellent "Mr. Hyde Park Dub," AKA "London's Burning"), the Anger Management League do The Clash justice with these cuts. Even the blistering "1977," a song that wanted to wipe the (white) rock'n'roll history slate clean ("No Elvis, Beatles, or The Rolling Stones...in 1977!") gets a jazzy revamp with sax and Hammond organ. The AML's Clash covers aren't revelatory, but they're damn good and fun--and a good a reason as any for you to buy this album.

Grade: B+

7 comments:

Jeremy Toaster said...

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=qpZ4rCjECkc&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252FWebObjects%252FMZStore.woa%252Fwa%252FviewAlbum%253Fi%253D218568577%2526id%253D218567903%2526s%253D143441%2526partnerId%253D30

Here is a link to buy their album "Why You Bad Soh?"
Doesn't look like the Clashed one is available for downloads yet...hope it becomes available though, I'd like to hear those tunes.

Steve from Moon said...

Jeremy:

Pick up 'Clashed' on vinyl and bust out the turntable! Digital isn't the only way to play!

Happy Holidays!

Steve

Anonymous said...

the songs on the b-side are not really originals, but the versions of the clash covers from the a-side. plus police & thieves.

Steve from Moon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve from Moon said...

Anon:

Thanks for your e-mail. Don't know how I missed the fact that the few tracks on side B that I called originals in my review were really additional versions of Clash tunes with new AML lyrics. I'll correct the review soon. I must have been focused on the more overt Clash songs on the LP and glossed over these...my mistake, thanks for catching it.

Steve

Anonymous said...

no problem. it took me a few listens to notice it. the band did good job of camouflaging those songs, i guess.

Steve from Moon said...

Anon:

I think the fact that I was listening to the LP on portable record player with a single, crappy speaker helped me miss the reworking of some of those songs (because when I listened to the songs on AML's MySpace page, it was immediately obvious that one of them was a version of "White Riot" with different lyrics, etc.). But I also think I just wasn't paying close enough attention...

Thanks, again, for the correction.

Best,

Steve from Moon