It's like a choice between cake or candy for me--either way you win. But when pressed to favor one continent's take on a burgeoning punk movement, I've got to go with the UK's tendency to absorb influences and regurgitate them in wholly interesting and different guises.
Now, I think it was said by good pal Shamus and blogger extraordinaire Mick over at Raiding the Vinyl Archive (as we were trolling through the US punk records last week) that both preferred the US take on the genre which evolved into artier prospects rather than dull "pub rock" as Shamus referred to it. And both do have a point. But if I'm to be a stickler for the defining aspects of the genre, the dirtier and grittier attack of the UK bands is where I find the appeal.
Television...Blondie...The Ramones...all fantastic, yet with an aspiration to reach higher highs--be they artistic or chart success--that the UK acts just didn't strive for. It was the sound of the streets--and the city--that brought a legitimacy to the movement. It was real, in a way that the Talking Heads never were and where contrivance wasn't to be confused with flamboyance ala The Dolls. 'Twas all grit and spit and safety pins.
Nick Lowe - Heart Of The City (Mp3)
The Jam - In The City (Mp3)
The Damned - Neat Neat Neat (Mp3)
The Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen (Mp3)
The Clash - White Riot (Mp3)