REVIEW – GARY GUITAR LAMMIN
Gary ‘Guitar’ Lammin – Gary ‘Guitar’ Lammin (Requestone Records)
Genre – Psychadelic punk blues
‘One of the things I never get, is when people release a solo record and it still sounds exactly the same as what they’re doing with their band.’
Gary Lammin has stuck to his guns with this statement. This solo album is a far cry from the traditional punk sound of the Bermondsey Joyriders. This time around, it’s an exquisite blend of psychedelic blues punk, that was recorded around the turn of the millennium with the late, great Sex Pistol’s producer Dave Goodman.
Lammin has carved a career playing with the who’s who of punk rock, with Joe Strummer topping the list. Having spent his career boxed into the traditional, raw punk sound, Goodman encouraged Lammin to step out of his comfort zone and explore the sounds of the early sixties.
Opening with the appropriately named All Opinion Will Eventually Change, Lammin brings the sound of the delta blues to the punk community. It’s slow. It’s up close and personal, and it’s intimate rather than blood boiling.
This track sets the theme for the album, with Lammin talking into the mic as opposed to singing, which continues into the brilliant Lost and Falling (the album’s standout). With gravelly vocals on show, the sounds of psychedelic blues guitar kicks in as you are taken on a journey of identity, duality and self-perception.
The content for the album was heavily influenced by The Stones’ controversial album Their Satanic Majesties Request, along with Mick Jagger’s film Performance. This can be seen in the cover of Memo From Turner, a cover from Jagger’s solo album of the same name.
The sixties theme also takes focus with the addition a John Sinclair, the former manager of proto-punks MC5, and founder of the far left White Panther Movement.
Interestingly, this is the point where this solo album takes the shape of a Joyriders’ prequel. Since the recording of this buried gem, Lammin and Sinclair have become long term collaborators and his spoken word contribution on Hey! Mr John Sinclair! appears to be the beginning of this.
Along with the aforementioned sixties figures, there is an unmistakable resemblance of Lou Reed / Velvet Underground in Last Night I Dreamt I Met My Enemy parts 1&2. The seven minute plus track sees the raw elements of the album replaced with sharp spoken word in a thick heavy voice, bolstered by long periods of soul searching guitars.
As you’ve probably gathered, the backstory of the album is as interesting as the album itself. Go into this with an open mind. It’s not the raw edged punk sounds you’re used to with Gary Lammin, but it’s still packed with quality.
RUSHONROCK RATED – 8/10 A far left fusion of sixties psychedelic rock infused with raw punk blues