Various Shatter the Hotel: A Dub Inspired Tribute to Joe Strummer

Joe Strummer's love of reggae and dub are celebrated here, with several artists taking a stab at versioning some of the hallowed Clash canon. The disc falls victim to the tribute album curse though, struggling to present a cohesive vision with an uneven collection of tracks. John Brown's Body deliver one of the disc's highlights with "Bankrobber," familiar territory for the group, to be sure. Dubmatix contribute two powerhouse versions of "London Calling," but Don Letts' vocals sound more like faded carbon copies of Strummer's than anything fresh and inspired. Danny Michel, surprisingly, offers the best cover with live show standard "Straight to Hell." Michel throws out the fake book and charts his own course ― something Strummer would admire. The intimate arrangement, supported by Dave Tolley's loving touch on percussion and Rob Carly's saxophones, is an update that doesn't make you long to hear the original. The same can't be said of the Dubcats' timid "Rudie Can't Fail" or "Rock the Casbah," which Nate Wize apparently felt needed to remain virtually chorus-less. And a few tracks from Strummer's strong solo career would have been welcomed with open arms. Perhaps this should have been called a Clash tribute, or at least a Strummer/Jones tribute. (Mojo Brand)