Sep 23, 2011

Wham! meets all of the slower Clash songs from the middle of London Calling, on. Serious. And it’s fuckin’ great. That’s all you really need to know, but for the band to understand I’m not clowning on them in the least, here goes: Rarely have I heard a band take the mellower, mid-tempo Clash as a starting point and embrace those slower-burning red-hot coals. (The Ratchets and Ringers being notable and worth-seeking-out exceptions.) Clash aping has typically been—in thoughtless hands—“punk ‘77! Charged hair! Spray-paint shit!” I love Clash ballads like “Lost in the Supermarket.” Here’s where Wham! comes in. Instead of mixing the Clash with more traditional rock’n’roll (or even the psych rock Something Fierce alluded to in their debut LP), there’s something prancy and Euro-pop in the delivery. Something very butt-missing in stone-washed jeans, gay-sex-in-public-bathrooms, and permanent-stubble that was a little off-putting when I first heard this new record with the echoes of There Are No Answers still ringing in my ears. But it’s this airy, open, summery, and unexpected gayness that keeps Don’t Be So Cruel spinning at high rotation at Razorcake HQ. Yeah, it’s smart, the lyrics belie some real though, but it’s also so prancing unicorn, so “Careless Whisper.” Shityeah.

 –todd (Dirtnap)