by Dave Segal
on Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 12:08 PM
So says Chunklet zine impresario Henry Owings on Twitter. He continues: "If they weren't on Sony, they'd have aged as well as any given bar band. FACT."
I'm not the world's biggest Clash aficionado, but this observation (not FACT, Hank; I don't care if you use all caps—it's just your fookin' opinion) seems misguided. I'd even put the Sex Pistols ahead of the Clash in the "overrated punk band" sweepstakes.
True, the Clash's agitprop lyrics seem somewhat laughable—no matter how passionately they believed and delivered them—when you consider they were bankrolled by a mega-corporation, but musically their rock was consistently catchy without being cloying and rugged without being ludicrously macho. The Clash's music filled you with adrenaline, but it usually came across as a positive, smart rush, not one that inspired destructive behavior. They also did much to broaden the minds of their punk-obsessed fans, dabbling decently with reggae, dub, jazz, and hiphop. Even if their sincere good intentions outweighed their chops, the Clash's eclecticism ultimately was a spur to many listeners to explore other genres.
But let's open up this contentious issue to Line Out readers. Which punk band do you think is the most overrated?
(My favorite Clash song. I know—it's not very punk rock.)