While there are obvious similarities between Srummer's work with The Clash and The Mescaleros, these releases weren't an example of somebody trying to recreate the past. Instead this later body of work continues on and expands upon what he had begun to establish with his prior band. Later Clash albums saw the band experimenting with different styles of musical expression. Living in London, England, Strummer was surrounded by people from all over the world, listening to an amazing variety of music, and couldn't help but be influenced by what he saw and heard around.
The first Mescaleros disc, Rock Art and the X-Ray Style, feels like it picks up where The Clash left off. The second last song on the original recording, "Yalla Yalla" has a groove which hints at Jamaican dub but without the heavy bass line. At the same time it has an urgency you'd never hear in reggae or any of its offshoots. It's hard to describe, as on the surface the song ebbs and flows with an easy beat, but there's the feeling of a deeper current, a hint of danger, lurking just out of sight. Perhaps it's the sound of Strummer's singing voice, rasping out the lyrics, which gives these lines an added intensity. "Well so long liberty/Let's forget you didn't show/Not in my time/Not in my son's/And daughter's time."
Even sung to the melodic tune of the song, those are opening lines guaranteed to grab your attention. The tune almost lulls you into not noticing it's a lament for the way so many wars fought in the name of freedom and liberty end up replacing one form of tyranny with another. Like all of Strummer's best work, "Yalla Yalla" isn't just an issue song but is a commentary on human nature. Some might find his rather pessimistic take on the world, not giving it much of a chance of getting better anytime soon, as being a downer. However, given the state of the world in 1999 when this was written and the way things are now, I'd say he was pretty accurate in his assessment of what the future held for his kids and their generation.