Thunder Boogie (Traktor7)
by Brian Varney
Though Lamont‘s garagabilly beginnings are still unquestionably a force, this diminutive trio seems to be embracing a heretofore hidden past with Thunder Boogie, the band’s sophomore outpouring. This return to roots is most obviously exemplified by the brilliant trailer park-themed artwork, but lest you think Lamont is yet another group of doltish former punk rockers who think it’s funny to wave the stars & bars and pretend to be rednecks, the music shows this shift to be much more than mere dress-up affectation.
Though the aforementioned garage/rockabilly influence still pops from the ground from time to time (the most blatant example is closer “Agent 49”), the band’s love of nascent arena metal (think Van Halen), and all things fried and greasy (think ZZ Top and the Iron Skillet) is a lot more apparent this time around. Thundering opener “Hot Wire” and sweaty grimefest “I Saw Red” are funky, sexy romps, liberally moistened with R&B-by-way-of-rock-and-roll, the way this sorta stuff is supposed to be played, dammit. Heavier, more fuckable grooves than the faux-garage bands of Sympathy, Estrus, et al. and more forward-thrusting momentum than many of the stoner bands rockin’ the nation, it’s this record’s emphasis on the girl-juice-encrusted groove that causes it to hit the r’n’r bullseye where these other, similarly-pitched bands miss. And if you still need convincing, check out the hidden bonus cover of ZZ Top’s “Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings,” which states my case much more eloquently than I have.
Thunder Boogie is exactly the sort of direction many bands who fit into either of the aforementioned categories would try and steer their music if they were as forward-thinking as Lamont. I don’t wanna say this shit’s the wave of the future (though I sure as hell wouldn’t complain if it was), but for now, these guys are enjoying an awfully large portion of this particular slab o’ ribs. Lamont is one of very few bands I can imagine sharing the stage with both The Reverend Horton Heat and High On Fire without being badly out of place in either instance for many reasons, not least of which is the band’s ferocious live attack, the sort of experience that led someone long ago to realize that the words “raw” and “power” go really well together. They tour all the time, so there’s really no reason for you not to have both albums, several t-shirts, ringing ears, and a hangover as proof that you’ve survived being on the receiving end of “The Lamont.”
(1100 Cambridge St. Cambridge, MA 02139)