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Down By Law at The Black Sheep show preview 

click to enlarge Down By Law, with The Nobodys, State Drugs, Thursday, April 4, 7 p.m., 2106 E. Platte Ave., $15, all ages, 227-7625, blacksheeprocks.com.
  • Down By Law, with The Nobodys, State Drugs, Thursday, April 4, 7 p.m., 2106 E. Platte Ave., $15, all ages, 227-7625, blacksheeprocks.com.
The Clash’s record company famously labeled them “The Only Band That Matters,” so being “the only real claimant to The Clash’s legacy,” as Down By Law are described in their band bio, is a fine aspiration. And there’s no question that the L.A. punk-rock group fronted by former All singer Dave Smalley is aiming in that direction: They’ve been known to do a more-than-serviceable rendition of “Safe European Home;” the Peckinpah-gone-pop-art style of their 2018 All In album is a clear homage to Give ‘Em Enough Rope; and when they launch into its undeniably catchy single “Rebrand It,” you can almost hear those soaring “whoa-oh’s” coming, because they in fact are. “The past is beautiful, but I’m not content to stay there,” sings Smalley. “I carry it with me, a sacred trust.” Which, in many ways, is Down By Law’s saving grace, an earnest sincerity that, when accompanied by big guitar riffs, unpretentiously poetic lyrics and shout-along choruses, is hard not to enjoy.

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