Saturday, January 28, 2012

City Rockers - A Tribute to the Clash

Here's a good and diverse (band wise and with the direction some of the covers take) compilation for your sunny and windy weekend.

I picked this CD up quite some time ago in a used bin at the local shop and its been worth every penny and then some. Many of you may have heard some of these tracks if you're a fan of the respective bands, but more than a few of these tracks have also slipped past recognition for far too long.

To say this track or that track are stand out tracks would almost literally take up the entire cd as each band either does a good traditional take on the song or adapts the song to their style and does it nicely. Whether it is the first track with Dave Smalley playing "Death or Glory" and channeling Billy Bragg with just his voice and guitar or Kid Dynamite's fairly traditional send up with hand claps and all- just with a snottier snarl to it (the same could be said for Saves the Day's cover of Clash City Rockers); the whole CD is strong throughout.

I will say that, of all the tracks here, my favorites are One King Down doing "London Calling" and playing it in its fairly intact original form, but as OKD (meaning as a metallic hardcore song), Demon Speed giving "Rock the Casbah" a psycho/rockabilly treatment (really, any treatment other than stripped out synth new wave punk of the original is probably a great treatment- NOTE: the live version Joe Strummer did with the Mescaleros is exceptional as it showcases the true strength of that song), and Lady Luck's introspective feeling "Lost in the Supermarket" shines with the soft female vocals. **I would say that I love the Dropkick Murphys cover of "Guns of Brixton", but the live track loses some of the energy and punch of the studio version they did which is included on their Singles Collection Volume One.

One King Down "London Calling":

The inclusion of some very good ska bands doing very good ska versions of songs is a huge plus for me, both as a fan of ska and a fan of the Clash. The Stubborn All-Stars do an almost ska-country version of "Lose This Skin" while Skinnerbox ends the CD with "Straight to Hell." As is always the case with these kinds of things, there are tracks any and all of us would have liked to hear which did not end up on the CD, but it is a good mix of some of the best known songs and songs that are a bit more secondary.

DOWNLOAD" V/A "City Rockers"

Lady Luck "Lost in the Supermarket":

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