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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
The 101ers
Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited
Astralwerks

Rating: 7/10 ?


November 4, 2005
Joe Strummer was a legendary figure in the scope of not only punk rock, but rock and roll itself. In the Clash he personified the fuck-it-all raucous spirit of rock and roll; he could sound like an angry revolutionary, and just as easily as he'd appear like a drunken stumbling bum you'd cross the street to get away from.

The 101ers is the bar band Joe Strummer fronted for a couple of short pre-punk years before founding the Clash. Normally classified as pub band, The 101ers covered 50s rock classics and added their own aesthetically similar originals - their sound was accessible, but also gritty; it was R & B-laced party music meant to be listened to with a beer in hand. While not extraordinarily different from Strummer's work in the Clash, the 101ers were an unrestrained good time band that probably fit well with the drunken atmosphere of English pubs. And certainly in this band Strummer sounds more like a beer guzzling band leader than an agitated man of the people.

Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited collects nearly every track the band recorded in their short existence from 1975 to 1976. What was once collected on a few rare singles and a posthumous LP is now put together with a bunch of unreleased tracks. As such, Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited is good, but not great. Just as an example of Strummer's early song writing talents, as in the passable "Keys to Your Heart" it is an interesting album, but it is also strengthened by songs like "Steamgauge 99" and "Letsgetabitrockin".

For the speed and grit the group played with, they sound tight - a quality that was also audible in the Clash. Guitarist Clive Timperley, bassist Dan Kelleher and drummer Richard Dudanski keep the beat and rhythm for a bona fide good time.

When the Sex Pistols played with the 101ers, legend has it that Joe Strummer was inspired and saw the future was punk rock. The 101ers soon disbanded, the Clash got together and the rest became history. The 101ers remain a footnote in the history of punk rock, a rock band in those hazy pre-punk days - one that served as a logical stepping stone to take Joe Strummer from nowhere pub rocker to punk icon. Still Strummer and his cohorts prove on Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited, 30 years after the fact, that the 101ers were no slouches, but a taut and raucous, fun-loving band.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams

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