This is punk. It's always hard to judge punk from a musical perspective. Punk is visceral, emotional, political, but seldom musical. The Clash are a little different. They could actually play their instruments. They had some knowledge of music and musical history. What's more, they knew a few other genres besides just punk and rock. This is still pretty close to ground zero for punk. I'm not even sure it had a name yet, but it was close. The Ramones debut came out less than a year before this and Never Mind the Bullocks wasn't out for a few more months after this. You can actually hear a bit of an evolution of the genre listening to these 3 albums back to back.
Let me get back to focusing on this album. I mentioned earlier about how long it took me to really "get" The Clash." They really eluded me. More political than The Ramones and not as fun as the Pistols. Listening to it now, there is still an amazing amount of musicality contained here. The Clash were still working on their sound and growing, but there is a lot of promise here. And aside from the promise, this is an aggressive, kick ass album. It takes no prisoners and makes no apologies. It is really quit enjoyable from start to finish. The copy I have is the American release, so there are some differences from the UK version. The songs are diverse and intriguing. "White Man in Hammersmith Palais is stunning. For a white band to take reggae beat to talk about racial issues is brilliant. I'm So Bored with the USA, still relevant. One of the highlights is Complete Control, written about the label releasing the song Remote Control without consulting them and their manager telling them that he wanted complete control over everything. The lyric, "Complete control, even over this song" is just punk poetry at its finest.