101’ERS, THE: Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited: CD

Re-release of Joe Strummer’s pre-Clash outfit. Bolstered with some live tracks, this is the definitive release of this material, unless you still have it on vinyl of course. Joe playing “pub rock” is a bit jarring at first, but after a few listens I’m sure you become enamored of it as I have. These are mostly Strummer originals, with some covers of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Slim Harpo brought to a live frenzy. “Sweet Revenge” and “Surf City” are my faves of Strummer’s on this disc. Isn’t it also illegal to not like a band that has a bass player called Mole? The 101’ers sweaty take on Them’s “Gloria” is rock solid at close to eight minutes on the end of the record. Not groundbreaking, but highly entertaining nonetheless. I miss you, Joe.

 –koepenick (Astralwerks)