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Carbon/Silicon - The Last Post

Band: Carbon/Silicon
Album: The Last Post
Country: UK
Release Date: 2007

Aversion.com review:

Mick Jones has made a career out of being there first. As guitarist for The Clash, he was as responsible as anyone was for developing the three-chord sound; along the way, he helped expose punks to world-beat sounds, reggae and funk. He also managed to be one of the first to record a rap song ("The Magnificent Seven") before splitting with The Clash in 1984. From there, he dove headlong into Big Audio Dynamite, which, after spawning the first single to heavily feature samples to land in the British pop charts ("E=MC2"), embraced the embryonic rave scene.

With Carbon/Silicon (in which Tony James, of Generation X and Sigue Sigue Sputnik fame joins him), Jones is once again a few steps ahead of the game: Since forming in 2002, the act championed online music distribution, spewing demos and three full-length albums onto its website for fans to grab virtually free, making it the first act of any reputation to go the free-online-distro route. Thom Yorke can thank them later.

Maybe there are only so many fresh ideas in Jones' head -- heck, he's already turned himself into the Thomas Edison of rock'n'roll -- but, for all the amazing back story and powerful lineup behind Carbon/Silicon, The Last Post doesn't sound nearly as cutting-edge as it should. Dropping the dance/funk/hip-hop/punk hybrid of his BAD days, Jones reverts back to traditional rock'n'roll riffs, peppering everything with liberal doses of digital sampling. It is, for all intents and purposes, a refinement of the back-to-basics rock on BAD's final effort, 1995's F-Punk (Radioactive).

But what a refinement. Where Jones' talent seemed to be receding faster than his hairline on the past couple BAD records, The Last Post -- the first Carbon/Silicon full-length to wind up with a hardcopy release -- starts bringing him and James back up to speed. And if it isn't as essential as anything in either guitarist's combined resume, it's at least a dose of pop-rock positivism to prove Jones has some vitality left in him, even if his music's retired from the cutting edge. "The News" opens the album with a walloping kick-beat bounce and a one-track garage-rock groove as Jones brims to overflowing with optimism that the world will, one day, be a pretty great place. "War on Culture" attaches wiry guitars to Jones' less-than-oblique criticism of stuffy conservatives' take on modern art, "The Whole Truth" throbs as bass, guitar and kick drums lock into a thumping start-stop riff that's descended in a right-hand line from The Kinks and The Clash most basic riffs. "Why Do Men Fight" is snappy dose of guitar pop that shows Jones and James haven't lost their knack for crafting a killer hook.

Jones worked out the difficulties that plagued the last couple Big Audio Dynamite albums without completely dismissing the pop-rock energy from his agenda. If it's not up to the cutting-edge standards Jones set in his past, it's at least a fun listen.

1. The News

2. The Magic Suitcase

3. The Whole Truth

4. Caesars Palace

5. Tell It Like It Is

6. War On Culture

7. What the F**k

8. Acton Zulus

9. National Anthem

10. Really the Blues

11. Oilwell

12. Why Do Men Fight?

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