The Bermondsey Joyriders “Flamboyant Thugs”
It is fairly rare to find a band that wants to incorporate both a traditional punk sound with a sense of ambition, but that’s certainly what The Bermondsey Joyriders seek to achieve. The fact that the album title itself comes from the controversial film “Performance” that included Mick Jagger probably says a lot in itself. This is actually the band’s third album and clearly shows that they have lost none of their sense of purpose.
It kicks off with “Sonic Underground” which is a strong, punk rock song with just a hint of sleaze rock under it. It’s a harder rock sound than you might have originally expected, complete with a real ‘metal’ solo. “Black God Daddy” keeps up the sleaze rock feel with a song which has a great dirty feel to it. It also adds some organ which gives some lightness to the almost ‘Cooper’ esque darkness.
We get to see a nice touch of humour on “Here Come The People”, but it also has a political side. It’s a great anthem for the common man and a reminder how original punk united so many people. The title track, “Flamboyant Thugs” is very much an old school punk song, recalling the likes of The Pistols and The Damned. “Just Like Me” is a similar punk song with its lyrics again being about the plight of the underclasses.
The Joyriders move to a more classic rock sound on “It’s Nice To Be Important”, especially in the intro which has an almost AC/DC feel. The lyrics still have a very British punk feel to it, although with as much humour as spite. “Just A Kid” is again more of a rock n roll number. It brings to mind a band like Hanoi Rocks or even the New York Dolls. “Roll The Dice” is about as commercially sounding as The Bermondsey Joyriders get. It’s still punk but adds a more bluesy/Stonesy influence to it.
Final track, “The Message” opens with a very restrained acoustic guitar feel and then a great rumbling bass. It builds in to a surprisingly mature and big rock song. This includes some brilliant slide guitar and a great solo. It has a sound like a rocking, sleazy band and is also similar to another great current band, The Peckham Cowboys. It’s actually the best song on the album and shows the band really expanding their sound.
This is an album which delivers some straight up punk rock but they bring some fresh air to the scene rather than just rehashing what has gone before. It has a real traditional punk attitude and also a feeling of a real understanding of their musical heritage. It’s probably fair to say that we are unlikely to see The Bermondsey Joyriders in soulless huge arenas any time soon. However, you can guarantee that in a dirty pub or club they will put on a rip roaring and probably shambolic show.