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Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros

Streetcore

By Jarod Isenbarger

Fort Wayne Reader

2004-05-17


The music world was taken aback when former Clash front man singer/guitarist Joe Strummer passed away last December due to a heart attack. His post-Clash outfit, The Mescaleros has left us a discography of classics, containing Strummer’s folk-protest singer tradition. Streetcore is the last record they would complete. Reggae rhythms beat down songs such as “Coma Girl” and “Get Down Moses” with old drum glory. The lyrics have a sense of poetic liberty that is Strummer’s signature, especially “Coma Girl” which makes you want to siphon gas and drive off in search of excitment. The Mescaleros manage to keep the Rastafarian spirit alive when covering Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” Strummer’s “question authority” attitude still lives up to his Clash vitality in the rock anthems “All in a Day” and “Arms Aloft,” while “Silver and Gold” reminisces and makes one dewy-eyed. This contrast from blistering rock to ballad-like acoustics songs infects us with emotional highs and lows, and combined with the awe-inspiring enthusiasm becomes impossible not to love. Streetcore exhibits a great shining history of a genuine artist and his friends, leaving the Strummer legacy with a definitive classic.

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