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The Dead 60s
The Dead 60s
Epic Records

The gentlemen from The Clash have a lot to answer for. Mick Jones, Joe Strummer (God rest his soul) and Paul Simonon did more to set rock music right back in the late 70's than just about anyone. Their legacy, however, has been somewhat shady and a bit on the bad side. Were it not for The Clash, bands like The Dead 60s might be doing something other than impersonating their heroes, and poorly attempting to update the sound. Which is not to say that The Dead 60s are bad - The band is actually quite talented, however any review of their new record would read similar to a review of London Calling when it was first released.

Most of the tracks on The Dead 60s eponymous album follow a basic musical tenet: follow the lead of The Clash. Which means taking pop rock, mixing in a slew of punk aesthetic, trim it all up with reggae and dub, and kick out a nice mix of easily listened to, and danced to, music. "Riot Radio" is proof enough of this. The track is almost two and a half minutes of blazing Clash-like fury. A groovy bass line accents the crisp up-beat focused drumming, typical dub noises lend flavor, vocals are produced to be effectually as vintage 1977 as possible, and the guitars strum and stop and start and stop just like Strummer would have wanted it. The influence of other near-punk-post-disco artists is seen here alongside the most obvious The Clash sounds. "Just Another Love Song" could have been lifted off of one of the early Joe Jackson records, and even more reggae is evident on songs like "Control This" - a track that bleeds English dub.

The truth is simply this: If more modern bands would draw their influences more solidly from the post-disco movement, rather than the disco movement, then bands like Franz Ferdinand and The Bravery would probably be much easier to listen to. Punk rock lives, in many incarnations, and The Dead 60s hearken back to the glory days of the anti-disco/dub movement. The music is solid and very enjoyable, the only thing separating it from the original music of bands like The Clash is the (lack of) message.

-L. Keane

Track Listing:
1. Riot Radio
2. A Different Age
3. Nowhere
4. Red Light
5. Just Another Love Song
6. Control This
7. Loaded Gun
8. Nationwide
9. We Get Low
10. Horizontal
11. New Town Disaster
12. The Last Resort
13. You're Not The Law

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