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Lords Of Altamont CDLords Of Altamont
Lords Have Mercy (Fargo)



Ton-up boys from the bad side of town, the Lords Of Altamont play messed-up biker psychedelia like it's going out of fashion. And, of course, you could argue that it has gone out of fashion: even today, when just about every musical style has come back for an encore, sixties influenced garage punk with a hog-on-the-highway attitude is probably the least hip thing with the kidz right now. But you know what? I don't think the Lords Of Altamont give a damn. They're having too much fun on their own crazed freeway of rock 'n' roll.

Lords Have Mercy is all revved-up riffs and squalling electric organ, a sound that has its roots in sixties garage bands like the Standells and the Count Five, but also drags in more than a little MC5 rampage and Stooges strop. The production is artfully contrived lo-fi - the drums lurking in the sonic murk, the vocals fighting their way through the racket. I'm surprised the Lords didn't elect to record in mono. But this band is more than just concept and contrivance. They've got a for-real attitude and they're clearly keen to kick ye olde rock 'n' roll around in the here and now, while also managing to sound so gloriously, gleefully immersed in their world of life-in-the-fast-lane leather 'n' low riders glamour that you just can't help leaping on the pillion. Here they come in a cloud of dust, twisting the trottle to the max on the mad rocker 'Cyclone' (the breakdown on this one, where the guitars suddenly go all Lords Of Altamontfuzzed-out, is an authentic Great Moment In Rock). They keep it as gritty as gravel burns on the swaggering blues of 'Action', mentalist it up on 'Project Blue' (the singer's rebel yell of 'Waaaaaah YEAH!' which starts the song clues us in that this ain't no ballad). Their take on 'Time Has Come Today', the old Chambers Brothers number from the Easy Rider soundtrack (which in itself shows you where the Lords Of Altamont are coming from) is an authentic anthem, complete with backing vocal shouts and an interlude of swooning cinematic strings. When the guitar chugs back in, that's another Great Moment In Rock, by the way. 'My soul's been psychedelicized' wails the singer, and, brothers and sisters, you gonna believe him. Rock, as I believe the phrase has it, on.




Essential links:

Lords Of Altamont: Website | MySpace

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  Page credits: Review, photo and construction by Uncle Nemesis.
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