Buried Treasure: Lamont’s Muscle, Guts and Luck

Posted in Buried Treasure on December 27th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

It just can’t be a coincidence that the quickie solo in “Eightball,” which is very much about cocaine, sounds like Kerry King on an ’80s Slayer record. Who also would’ve thought that “Who’s got blow/Eightball/Bring it all/Come on” would make for such a catchy chorus? It’s one of about six for six on Lamont‘s 2005 EP, Muscle, Guts and Luck, alongside ripped like “Raise a Little Hell,” and the raucous closing pair “On the Lam” and “Burn it Down.”

You might (you might not) remember I wrote a post about Lamont‘s Thunder Boogie full-length, well, Muscle, Guts and Luck was released in 2005 on Underdogma Records and came into my possession as a gift from longtime Obelisk reader and all-around good dude Mike H., who I’m pretty sure is more O.G. on this site than I am. He found it in a shop in Maine called Bull Moose — apparently a bit of a local chain up that way — and sent it over with holiday-type cheer. Much appreciated, even before I put the thing on and heard the killer Boston-Southern riffing of “Water Me Down,” which, if it showed up today on a Roadsaw or Infernal Overdrive record, would still have me stoked. I guess seven years isn’t that long anyway, but this stuff hasn’t aged a bit.

Muscle, Guts and Luck is only 23 minutes long, so it’s right there in EP territory, but it’s packed anyway. Each track has something killer on offer, whether it’s the aforementioned chorus righteousness, Jase Forney‘s bass-fill excellence on “Raise a Little Hell” and really everywhere else, Pete Knipfing‘s used-to-be-a-punker shouts, drummer Todd Bowman‘s quick changes in “Cannonball,” on which Michele Morgan also adds backing vocals behind Knipfing. “Cannonball” particularly reminds me of some of the ballsy groove that showed up on what would turn out to be the last album from NY regional favorites Puny Human, 2007’s Universal Freak Out, and it’s not surprising since the two releases share a producer in Andrew Schneider.

According to the Oct. 14, 2005, issue of the Boston Phoenix — because, that’s right, I do research — Forney busted his sternum and a couple ribs and bruised his heart and spleen while working on Lamont‘s tour van around this time, forcing the band to can most of the tour they’d have done around Muscle, Guts and Luck. I’m not sure if bruised muscle, flattened guts and shitty luck were what they were going for with the title, but at least it’s genre appropriate. If you can get your hands on a copy of the EP, either at a Bull Moose like our dear friend Mike H. or anywhere else, consider it recommended listening. The more time I spend listening to these dudes, the more I think a reunion is in order.

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Buried Treasure and the Boogie of Thunder

Posted in Buried Treasure on November 16th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

It’s okay though. I’m pretty sure Lamont were only in such a hurry to kick your ass on Thunder Boogie because they had to get to that date with your girlfriend.

During their time together, Boston-based trio Lamont put out two EPs and two full-lengths. Thunder Boogie was the first, arriving a decade ago in 2002 on Traktor 7 Records after the 1999 EP and Muscle, Guts and Luck EP and preceding their swan song, Population 3. They broke up in 2007 — guitarist/vocalist Pete Knipfing went on to play in Mess with the Bull — and since then, info on the band has become sparse to the point on nonexistence. Even their MySpace page is gone by now.

A pretty familiar story — band does stuff then breaks up — and I’d leave it there were it not for the unencumbered freeballing swagger of Thunder Boogie itself. The basic fact of the matter is if this record came across my desk for review today, I’d fall all over myself to give it a glowing overly-detailed review, and while 10 years on, it’s not exactly groundbreaking for heavy or stoner rock, it’s clear even now that Lamont‘s penchant for speed-riffing and driving grooves — rushed from the start of the blazing “Hot Wire” — wasn’t about innovation as much as it was about drinking, classic rock worship, big hooks and no bullshit.

Like the best of Boston’s heavy rock scene then and now, there’s a strong undercurrent of punk in what Lamont does. Nine tracks in 31 minutes means there isn’t much time for screwing around, and “Vegas,” “I Saw Red” and “One White Line” ensure the first half of Thunder Boogie is filled with strong choruses, motor-ready rock and a blinding sense of pace that, even when it slows, hardly gives you time to process before Knipfing, bassist Mike Cosgrove and drummer Todd Bowman are on to the next thing. By the time they get around to “Thunderboogie,” “Hell’s Got Me Runnin’,” “Psychopath” and the infectious closer “Agent 49” — which tops seven minutes only because of the bonus track — they’re well dug in, dripping attitude on the gang vocals of “Psychopath” or the post-rockabilly brashness of the finale.

Thunder Boogie finally came into my possession just hours after acquiring the Johnny Arzgarth haul, presented to me by the man himself, whose reaction earlier when I’d told him about my trouble finding any of Lamont‘s material was, “Oh yeah, let me call Pete,” in the manner of a person who gets things done. So be it. I don’t know how I’d ever be able to pick up any of Lamont‘s other releases — unless, I was to, say, move to Massachusetts sometime in the next year and immediately begin perusing CD stores — so the chance to hear this one was certainly much appreciated.

The video’s kind of lo-res, but should be enough for you to get the point:

Lamont, “Hot Wire”

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