Lamont caught my eye with their humorous artwork: a seemingly white-trash man (sorry if that offends someone out there, but come on) with a pair of shotguns/rifles, a dog/pit bull in the background, and a cigarette hanging from his mouth. It made me chuckle, give the album a second look - quite the feat with my huge collection, and the 96 artists (and 358 albums, give or take a single or two) that are waiting in my 'Must Listen To' list - and then the album title, Thunder Boogie (ignore the second album at AllMusic, obviously that is for a different band), lead to a listen. So there is something in the title and artwork: Bands take heed!
I was initially quite impressed with Thunder Boogie; the first track, "Hot Wire," was a down-and-dirty rock n' roll song. It had my head bobbing right from the start, and my brain rattled by the end. It was followed by the slightly less-energetic "Vegas," which I had a really hard time deciding if I really enjoyed the song or not. I literally changed the ranking of this song four or five times, before settling on a '5 Star' ranking by the end of the fifth track on the album. That song was succeeded by "I Saw Red," an equal step-down in energy as it's predecessor was from the previous, but this time, much more well delivered. Right from the get-go I had something that was kicking my ass (even with the rough patches)!
Then... the album kind of fell apart for a while. For the next four tracks, there really wasn't anything of note. The songs were quick and energetic, but they didn't have the uniqueness and creativity of the first triad. That is to say that the songs weren't band, they were just uninspired, and became an obvious low point for the album as a whole.
I was getting bored, and fearful for the end, when all of a sudden the excitement was back! For the conclusion of Thunder Boogie - the last two tracks - I heard and felt the energy that was noticed at the beginning of the release. The buildup was with "Psychopath," which again took me some time (as with "Vegas") to decide how much I liked it. Then with the conclusionary (I know it's not word) track of "Agent 49," I was once again slamming my brain around my skull. I don't know exactly what the change was, but it was amazing! This should have been a great ending, but Lamont had one more trick up their sleeve; after three minutes of silence there was a hidden track. As I was listening to it, I thought it sounded very familiar, and after a little research (which included a five second search of their Wikipedia page), I discovered it was a cover of "Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings" originally by ZZ Top (which also eventually appears on the great cover album Sucking The 70's, released by Small Stone Records). Now I hate hidden tracks, as I have said many times previously, but in this case, doing a surprise cover (and I love me a good cover) has won me over. Good on you Lamont! Making me temporarily alter my position on something I was sure I disliked...
Anyway, Lamont is a band I could really see going places. So much more the pity that they broke up in 2007. They have another release out there, Population 3, which I may have to track down, so see how they evolved. I think with a little bit of fine-tuning this band could have gone somewhere in the stoner community. As it stands Thunder Boogie is a decent release, and while it does lag in the middle somewhat, the bookends are well worth the disc. This is garage punk stoner rock at it's finest.