Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros - Global A Go-Go (Cover Artwork)

Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros

Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros: Global A Go-GoGlobal A Go-Go (2001)
Hellcat Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: adamAdam
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"Anyway, I told him I was in a band, He said "Oh Yeah?
Oh Yeah? What's your music like?" I said, "It's errm‚?¶ errm‚?¶
Well, It's kind of like‚?¶ you know‚?¶ It's got a bit of‚?¶ um y'know‚?¶"

- Joe Strummer "Bhindi Bhagee"

The Clash was one of the few `77 era punk bands to stay relevant; The Pistols imploded and the Ramones fell into the trap of rewriting the same album over and over. As the Clash progressed they incorporated other styles into their sound, largely due to front man Joe Strummer. The band's epic London Calling ventured into rockabilly, R&B ska and reggae. Its follow-up, "Sandinista!," was more diverse still: adding elements of rap, dub and gospel (even a children's chorus). "Sandinista!" was one good album spread thinly amongst three records. It was a concept frowned on by closed minded rock critics that has been successfully resurrected here.

Strummer has a fascination with the concept of world music. He has once again put himself in the role of global DJ, and delivered an album every bit as tight as the Clash's best, only succeeding where "Sandinista's" ambition failed. Strummer would never have done this without the Mescaleros, and they cannot be overlooked. This is not a typical "solo-artist" work and the tightness of the group really shines. "Global" is much more of a cohesive group effort then Strummer's previous singer-songwriter based "Rock Art & The X-Ray Style." No other band can, from song to song, include so many musical instruments without sounding forced (just to name a few of those instruments: violins, bongos, flutes, wurlitzers, glass harmonicas, Spanish guitars, saxophones, accordions, synthesizers and a whole list that I've never even heard of). Strummer's lyrics are of the metaphorical, socially aware style that he used in the Clash. Hearing him on the attack again with such love and passion is amazing.

It's an overwhelming task to put any one track into a given style. The punchy folk opener "Johnny Appleseed" continues to grow on me. The slightly electronic funk-rock of "Cool'n'Out" follows, with just as much energy yet an entirely different direction. The song "Global A Go-Go" defies categorization. It best represents the myriad styles, amazing background vocals and classic-Strummer lyrics that flow throughout this entire work. Mid-album the songs slow down, and a stereo with a subwoofer will really heighten your enjoyment. The apologetic "Bummed Out City" builds in intensity and just brims with Strummer's rejuvenated song writing. The album ends with the seemingly never-ending Celtic instrumental "Minstrel Boy," which tops off at almost 18 minutes.

It doesn't sound like anything categorized as punk rock today. It's experimental without being pretentious. It's social protest yet not without a sense of humour. It's Joe Strummer just as relevant and skilled all these years later. I needed an album like this to kick me in the ass and knock my expectations out the window... Thanks Joe...


People who liked this also liked:
Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros - StreetcoreThe Clash - London CallingThe Clash - The ClashAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Against Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyNOFX - The DeclineThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Jesus_H_Christ (October 13, 2007)

This is a brilliant record. Though, I think Streetcore is beter.

Suzanne (October 13, 2006)

the music on this album is a little out of my confort zone.....but i love those songs "mega bottle ride" and "bummed out city" and i like reading the lyrics to the other songs.

ABedForLiars (September 3, 2006)

This is proof that Joe still kicked ass even though he wasn't with the Clash.

Anonymous (June 17, 2006)

Oh, my world. It is ok

Anonymous (August 26, 2005)

Sucks that Joe's dead.

Anonymous (May 10, 2004)

Are you all stupid or something, How can you even talk about punk music and Joe Strummer and then go on in the same sentance to mention Avril and Sum 41? There is no comparison and if they are all we have to look forward to then it looks as though the future of punk music is pretty bleak. RIP JOE you are and allways will be my influence x

Anonymous (July 30, 2003)

Will be increasingly recognized as a classic. A great album with one of the greatest musical personalities of all time at its core. Thanks Joe.

Anonymous (May 17, 2003)

This is 1 of the best cds i have ever heard and its just as good as london calling. Joe will be missed.

Joe Strummer 1952-2002

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

yeah i never heard this cd before but to the guy who went off-subject talking about sum41. i don't think they're wannabes because they never said they were punk unlike avril lavigne who calls herself "skate-punk" and makes all the girls think they listen to punk and its the cool thing to say poser. yeah wow cool i like pennywise so maybe i'll like avril lavigne. i hope "complicated" is in the next tony hawk soundtrack

Anonymous (January 24, 2003)

This album is all over the place! It rocks and kicks ass! Strummer was responsible for most of the clash' stylistic experiments and has only expanded his range since. The band's live shows are amazing!

Anonymous (August 21, 2002)

ho ho ho...PISS ON ME!!!

Anonymous (August 21, 2002)

I'll give it a 10, but ive never heard it before, but i have to say Sum 41 are all wanabees!!! they THINK they're punk rock, they arent! go listen to Anti- Flag, The Casulties, Pennywise, The Ramones, Rancid, or something actually punk.... and good!
bubbyes _Jen

punk_kid (August 4, 2001)

well... at least the sum 41 guy does know what punk is

pat41 (July 30, 2001)

WOW, thats all I can say. I picked it up today and I havent stopped listening to it. WOW WOW WOW.

oldpunker (July 30, 2001)

Brilliant work by a true original

Anonymous (July 28, 2001)

Probably the best, most unique and diverse album of the year... Joe Strummer and the Mescilaros are amazing... im really looking forward to seeing them in Montreal this year.

Anonymous (July 28, 2001)

its nice to see someone still making music form the heart for the sheer joy of music at his age. Its also nice that he isnt trying to remake the clash and become a self parody, way to go joe

Anonymous (July 28, 2001)

This is not punk rock, Joe does not think it's punk rock, nor is he still trying to be punk at 49. It's music. Great music. If you get a chance to catch their live show, do so, he stil puts a lot of heart into his performance, and the band sounds perfect. And it's great he's still making music he loves at tihs age, while some of his peers are working for VH1.

coldjuly (July 28, 2001)

Man, This CD is good...c'mon you have to give strummer credit for what he is doing...he brings something new and different to the scene. As did the clash long long ago.

Anonymous (July 28, 2001)

Yeah, this is definitely an amazing CD. Punk rock needs to keep guys like Joe Strummer to keep the scene on its toes, keep new sounds coming in to stop bands from all sounding the same...

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