Clampdown-Clash/ Clampdown-Strokes (cover)

This is my favorite Clash song. There are lots of great Clash songs, but I don’t know if I really feel any of them as much as this one. The disciplined, propulsive riff is what does it, it is the best way to pair the quoted hate speech of the lyrics. It gives it the stomping feel appropriate for the content. This live version is from that SNL knockoff “Fridays”- you might or might not remember that Michael Richards and Larry David were on it. Andy Kaufman hosted once and would not break character. I think there must have been a melee or something. This version is less loose and more robotic, more metallic, closer to the album version than other versions, but with some extra echo. This is how I like the song because it is essentially the band wearing a costume, and the part is better played with half-dead eyed sneering and stomping. Aif has some Clash at his place.

Clampdown-The Clash

Which leads us to our cover by The Strokes. I really don’t care what the haters say about the Strokes, and it is not necessarily relevant to their cover here. It is incredibly faithful, with an even greater sheen that the Clash’s costumed take. It is 25% closer to a Gary Numan dystopian robot future, but in Julian Casablancas world they’ll probably be sex robots giving him blue balls. As drunk as Julian is or is pretending to be the band just turns in a professional androidesque tight karaoke swing around the park. But the measured tempo and the angular crunch are the strengths of the tune, so in this case I think it works. Please feel free to get on the high horse and claim blasphemy, that’s what comments are for.

Clampdown-The Strokes

3 Responses to “Clampdown-Clash/ Clampdown-Strokes (cover)”


  • Finally, SoftD doesn’t degrade me!

    ALL HAIL THE CLASHHHHH (and no, don’t play rock the casbah again, that’s not even really such a good song)

  • also, after listening to this bunch of chundermuffins puke on the grave of joe strummer, listening to julian casablancas is like honey in my ears… or wax, i can’t tell the difference after listening to that.

  • YIkes that is some interesting group of bands. The only one I could possibly think of as interesting might be the Afghan Whigs. I really like the Strokes version- there is a B side toe “The End Has No End” that has even more robotic crunch.

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