58 of 66 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Combat Rock (Audio CD)
I usually hate it when people cry "underrated!!" like it's going to do anything, but I feel that "Combat Rock" (as well as "Sandinista") deserve the complaint.
The first Clash record I seriously fell in love with was "Sandinista." It was wildly experimental, fun, and almost always consistently interesting. It was after that album that I started listening to their more appreciated work (the two albums -- you know which ones).
What stopped me from listening to this album was the surplus of negative reviews and opinions attached to it. People seem to like it even less than "Sandinista," and there are a lot of people who find that triple album repulsive.
But I finally gave it a listen. "Know Your Rights" sounds like a tossed off one-note experiment at first. I was a bit disappointed. But by "Car Jamming," something happened.
I really, really liked it! It's so catchy and weird at the same time. In fact, that goes for the entire album, minus the more "normal" hits -- catchy and absolutely weird. (Sell out? Pfft.) Take the last track for example. "Death Is a Star." Does that even sound like the Clash?
No, not really. In fact, not at all. But for what it is, it's not half bad! That's the beauty of The Clash circa "Sandinista!" and "Combat Rock" -- they tried so many genres and almost always succeeded in some various way. And if they didn't, it was at least an interesting failure.
This one is like "Sandinista!" edited down to a single disc, making it an extremely cohesive album. In fact, it's probably their most cohesive album. Even more so than the perfection of "London Calling."
Hell, even the hits ("Should I Stay or Should I Go" and "Rock the Casbah") are great. They're not as overplayed as some on here make them out to be.
Every single song has something to offer. "Inoculated City" is perfect pop, "Overpowered by Funk" is The Clash doing (good) disco, "Ghetto Defendant" is an interesting mess of tense drumming, seemingly computerized voices and tight rhythms.
And last but certainly not least, we get "Straight to Hell" on here. What's not to like?