Inspired by biker culture, and including ex-members of The Cramps, The Fuzztones and a surf-revival band, The Lords of Altamont play hellraising garage rock, semi-metal and punchy r’n’b and the surprising thing is that ‘Preacher’, ‘Sonic’, ‘The Dealer’, ‘Sir Lord Baltimore’ and ‘Baron von Ludwig’ do it so deftly. The alter-egos, plus titles like ‘Let’s Burn’, ‘Tough As Nails’ and ‘Live Fast’ (the chorus of which can only be “die young”) suggest that they’re pretty cartoonish bikers, part-Cramps, part-Ramones and part-Sex Pistols (‘Velvet’ is a blatant ‘Holidays in the Sun’ steal).
Still, a couple of plays shows up that they’re no Towers of London-type frauds. Having released their first record on Sympathy for the Record Industry in 2002 and gigged extensively, they’ve created a mighty loud sound. Jake ‘Preacher’ Cavaliere gives a Farfisa organ masterclass on ‘She Cried’ while there are shades of Radio Birdman on the insanely garage ‘Buried From The Knees Down’, with its classic opening line: “some call me a walking dereliction”. They also throw in a rowdy but brilliant cover of the Chambers Brothers psychedelic-soul anthem ‘Time Has Come Today’. There’s not a touch of subtlety or originality but for a rabble-rousing 35 minutes, or as the soundtrack to ‘The Wild One’, this can’t be beat.