28 May 2012 (released)
29 May 2012
The Bermondsey Joyriders album is, if you can believe such a thing, a mature punk album. A punk CONCEPT album for crissakes. I nearly crashed my car the first time I put it on.
Gary Lammin (vocals & guitar) is ex of Heavy Metal Kids, Cock Sparrer and Joe Strummers The Little Roosters while Martin Stacey (bass) came out of Gene Oktober's Chelsea before they metamorphosed into Generation X. Drummer on the album is Rat Scabies from The Damned but the band now contain Chris Mustoe on drums and he has a history going back to Johnny Thunders and The Flying Padovanis. They also have an awesome secret weapon - John Sinclair, once manager of the MC5 and esteemed punk poet he is doing the spoken word links between the tracks and it takes a fine album one step further - a massive difference.
The other thing that makes a difference is the band's experience and talent - they can play, these guys and they have learned how to put a song over too. The comparison to some of the wannabees from across the pond is always going in favour of the Joyriders.
They are still angry, still iconoclasts and still not in the mainstream. Songs like 'Society Is Constantly Changing' are strident and anguished but there is an underlying sense of irony 'Cuppa Tea' picks up their |Britishness with Sinclair having great fun with the pronounciation.
Lammin's vocals are not what you would call sweet but he can carry a tune and his guitar playing is brilliant, especially when he is ripping out Blues and slide licks. Scabies and Stacey make for a superb rhythm section and there are some fine contributions from Elliot Mortimer (Jim Jones Revue) and his barrelhouse piano.
The first I heard of this album was last year when the supported King Mob and I did wonder if the attraction would pall after a few months but no - still had me bouncing around the car like a loon and scaring the hell out of the locals. ****
So the upshot of a comparison with Off! (see other review) is that the US punks are playing the same type of music that Chelsea and The Subversives while the original British punks are now playing music that has evolved and developed. Equally valid and both great to listen to but the Brits have the edge