They say ‘rock n roll’ is a young man’s game. Well, whoever ‘they’ are couldn’t have been proven more wrong with the release of ‘Noise and Revolution’ by the Bermondsey Joyriders. The intensity of the 21 track album belies the fact that the three members of this Punk Rock ‘1977’ supergroup have played with some of the most notable names in the business – Johnny Thunders and Joe Strummer to name but two.
As soon as MC5 John Sinclair’s deep and gravelly tones introduce the band on the opening track the listener knows they are embarking upon something of a musical adventure. In fact his narrative throughout the whole album gives it a unique twist – even more unique is actually seeing this performed live. (See the video interview with the ‘Joyriders for a glimpse of this!)
The first song, ‘Society is rapidly changing’, is a full on assault – driven by a hard bass line and pounding cymbals. Gary Lammins vocals convey a very real emotion and anger, his passion & belief in the lyrics is unquestionable. This track showcases the Joyriders punk heritage and helps set the tone for the rest of the album.
However, it would be wrong to assume that the songs all follow the same style as the opening track. Certainly there are the songs that have their roots in the punk element of the bands style – the tracks ‘Noise and Revolution’ and ‘Right now’ epitomising this – but this band has more than one string to their bow. ‘London Bridge’ has almost a ‘Stones esq feel to it and it is fair to say the band embrace the ‘Blues’ more than once across the course of this album. The aptly named ‘Rock and Roll Demon’ shows off their ability to successfully play good ole fashion ‘rawk and roll’ and the album really effortlessly sways between aggressive punk to toe tapping rhythm and blues.
Reviewing all 21 tracks individually would take more room than this reviewer is allowed but suffice to say after listening to the album there are two things that stand out. One is just how refreshing it is. The band clearly knows what they want to do and have supreme confidence in their abilities which allows them to cross various musical genres during the album. The second is that one listen just isn’t enough….
Buy Noise and Revolution on Amazon MP3
Words: Brian McKay