In the decade following the release of Joe Strummer's 1989 debut, EARTHQUAKE WEATHER, the Sex Pistols reformed and Orange County became the '90s equivalent to Brixton. Rather than hopping onto any bandwagons, Strummer spent this time dabbling in different projects and sampling different genres. All this musical exploration resulted in ROCK ART AND THE X-RAY STYLE, a musical gumbo that finds punk as its least significant ingredient.
The one constant from Strummer's days with the Clash is socially conscious lyrics that not only tap into the global injustice of what happened at Tianamen Square ("Forbidden City"), but in a more personal confrontation with police at 1998's Megadog Festival ("Techno D-Day"). Elsewhere, Strummer explores new ground with such unpunk flourishes as merging Moorish percussion with Spanish guitar ("X-Ray Style") and grafting Orb-like ambiance onto tribal rhythms ("Yalla Yalla"). Like former bandmate Mick Jones's Big Audio Dynamite, the Muscaleros utilize interesting dance beats particularly on the gently grooving CHEF AID cut "The Road to Rock N' Roll" (where steel guitar meets wheels of steel) and a striking combination of African chanting with bubbling electronica ("Sandpaper Blues").
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Pop
- Released: 09/25/2012