Album Review: The Lords Of Altamont – “The Wild Sounds Of The Lords Of Altamont”
Now well into their second decade of existence, LA’s Lords Of Altamont are one of those great low-slung rock ‘n’ roll bands where every time you get a new album from them you can’t help but wonder why, like the group who were arguably their forebears the Lords of The New Church, these guys aren’t a bit better known than they are.
Wild Sounds… is the Lords’ fifth album (sixth if you count their covers album Lords Take Altamont a couple of years back) and it’s another strong effort, mixing 70s biker rock with 60s psychedelia and the most rabid take on the blues you’ll likely hear this side of Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind. In an age where bores like Joe Bonamassa and Joanne Shaw-Taylor are mysteriously elevated to the position of critical darlings for their over-egged and derivative take on blues rock, it’s good to hear songs like Evil (Is Going On) which really are the sound of screaming down the midnight highway on your motorbike with a slavering hellhound how-how-how-howlin’ on your trail. Meanwhile (Ain’t No) Revolution is all Satanic Majesties/ Let It Bleed era Stones with its swirling keyboards and screaming vocals.
This is a good fat-free album, with no song lasting more than three and a half minutes, and the lean stripped down Stooges style blasts of garage rock like Like A Bird and Death On The Highway well and truly kicking arse. Elsewhere the more measured Been Broken and Take A Walk bringing to mind what you’d imagine Queens of The Stone Age would’ve turned out like if they hadn’t gone all muso and boring on us.
By the time they sign off with the pummelling Can’t Lose (which sounds like a set-closer in waiting) and a ferociously fast run through the old blues standard Where Did You Sleep Last Night?, the Lords have definitely put themselves up there among the Album of the Year contenders.
For those bemoaning the absence of bands with that classic evil low-slung cool that have got the killer tunes and riffs to match, this should be very high on your shopping list this month. A damn good effort from the Lords of Altamont which definitely ranks among the best albums I've heard in 2017 so far. Highly recommended.