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Saturday, 16 June 2012

Record Review – Bermondsey Joyriders

THE BERMONDSEY JOYRIDERS
Noise And Revolution

Fuel Injection

Garry Lammin, Martin Stacey and Chris Musto have all earned their colours as veteran punks, serving in bands like Little Roosters and Chelsea, and, in Musto’s case, with Johnny Thunders and Joe Strummer. On this second album from The Bermondsey Joyriders, they embark upon a musical journey that’s narrated by the former MC5 manager John Sinclair, whose mellifluous, marijuana mellowed, Michigan-toned tongue intersperses the songs to help convey their message to great effect.

Bristling with indignant punk fury and righteous anger, Noise And Revolution is certainly imbued with the spirit of 1977 – hell, there’s even a track named after that memorable year! But Noise And Revolution is as much about now as it dewy-eyed nostalgia for punk’s glory days - it’s more like a call to arms! Take the title track for instance, or ‘Society Is Rapidly Changing’ – a scathing indictment on the coalition’s further destruction of our local communities with its systematic cuts. There’s some great social commentary on the class system too: ‘Proper English’ is just that; it’s one of those songs that echoes the likes of Ray Davies, Madness, Ian Dury and Damon Albarn at their most quintessentially English best, all rolled into one.

Plundering rock ’n’ roll’s illustrious back catalogue with abandon to reveal some other obvious influences too, The Bermondsey Joyriders may well be derivative at times, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Fusing unbridled raw power with tasty blues licks, they create something that sounds as dangerous as a pack of half-starved Rottweilers, but vital and exciting at the same time. With lyrics composed from classic song titles by the likes of Eddie Cochran, Chuck Berry, Stones, Little Richard, Who and Bob Dylan among others, ‘Right Now’ mashes a punked up Led Zeppelin ‘Communication Breakdown’ riff with The Stooges’ ‘1969’, before culminating in a killer display of bottleneck driven guitar swamp blues and a line from Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Chile’ – exhilarating stuff!

Unsurprisingly then, with other song titles like ‘Rock Star’ and ‘Rock N Roll Demon’ the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle itself is one of the main currents running through the album, but it all comes at you from so many different angles it’s hard to ignore any of it. Noise And Revolution is a definite contender for being one of my favourite albums of the year.

Rich Deakin

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