Music » Music Stories

JOE STRUMMER

Rock Art and the X-Ray Style (Hellcat/Epitaph)

by

comment
After 10 years of basically fucking around -- some soundtrack stuff here, some touring with the Pogues there, a stray compilation track or two -- Joe Strummer has delivered a new solo album, only his second since the Clash fell apart. But where 1989's Earthquake Weather rocked and rolled, Rock Art and the X-Ray Style takes in ethnic and dance influences alongside the guitars.

Obviously Strummer has been keeping an eye on the music world in the intervening years, and anyone expecting a pseudo-Clash album will be disappointed. The diversity is admirable, but you just kind of wish some of the songs were a little better. There are a lot of good ones, like "The Road to Rock 'N' Roll" and "Forbidden City," but "Yalla Yalla" is embarrassingly new-agey, and "Nitcomb" is just boring. The rest of it grows on you, and of course that voice is still raging, but the best thing about Rock Art and the X-Ray Style is this: It serves as proof that of all the people clinging to the Clash, Joe Strummer is not one of them.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.