Home Read Classic Album Review: Joe Strummer | Global A Go-Go

Classic Album Review: Joe Strummer | Global A Go-Go

The ex-Clash leader’s second album in 18 months is an eclectic, multi-culti affair.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


First, we didn’t hear from him for a decade. Now he’s put out two albums in 18 months. Clearly, Joe Strummer is making up for lost time.

Even better, the former propaganda minister of punk pioneers The Clash is making it a group effort. Strummer has always worked best with strong musical collaborators, and he’s found some formidable co-conspirators in his new outfit The Mescaleros. Unlike many a faceless backing combo, these guys co-wrote virtually all 11 tunes on this 73-minute disc. All the cooks don’t spoil the broth. Their loose-limbed joints are spiced with an eclectic, multi-culti flavour — everything from Celtic to bhangra surface in the mix — that will remind Clash fans of Sandinista’s exotically funky ethno-jive. Strummer, meanwhile, rolls up another massive spliff of his usual punky beatnik hoodoo (“For the Zapatistas, I’ll rob my sisters … Checkmate baby!”), and blows lyrical smoke rings through his trusty, rusty yet remarkably resilient pipes. This might not be the Radio Clash, but aside from an unnecessary 17-minute studio jam that closes the disc, it’s a consistently strong outing, and a worthy followup to ’99’s Rock Art & the X-Ray Style. Keep ’em comin’, Joe.