If you thought fans of Guns ‘n’ Roses had a hard time waiting for a follow up to the “Lose Your Illusions” albums, 17 years, spare a thought for disciples of Croydon’s (2nd) finest band Johnny Moped; 13 years between their 1978 debut “Cycledelic” and it’s follow up “The Search For Xerxes” and then a further 25 years until the band’s next album,“It’s A Real Cool Baby”, hit the real and virtual Record Shops in 2016. Splitting the difference Johnny Moped weren’t expected to be releasing anything new until at least 2038. That was until the band unleashed a new single in the shape and form of “Catatonic” in 2017. Part of the band’s renewed activity was the passing of Johnny’s legendary wife Brenda, who back in the day ruled his Social and Band Calendar with a Rolling Pin of iron and then in later years, due to her failing health, Johnny became her full-time, main carer, pretty much sidelining his quest to regain his poster boy crown for the disenfranchised “80% disabled” (his words not mine) Rock Star. Until now!
Earlier this the band decamped to Panther Studio in Reigate to hone their craft that would see Marty Love, formally of Case and currently of the Weird Things and The Sensible Gray Cells, making his full-length studio debut, taking over drum duties from the down stepping Dave Berk, joining Slimy Toad, Rock ‘n’ Roll Robot and Jacko Pistorious and of course the man himself Johnny Moped. The result of which is the 14 track “Lurrigate Your Mind” album. Unlike it’s predecessor all the songs on offer are new, none are from “back in the day” demos that have re-recorded, apart from the b-sides to “Catatonic” and “Livin’ In A Dream World” which were “Hard Lovin’ Man” and “Save The Baby Seals” respectively. Although the final track, that features the guitaring skills of original member Captain Sensible, lists all the pre-Moped band names “Black Witch Climax Blues Band Generic Breakdown” (what no ‘Assault & Buggery’?!) is an obvious nod to the past with its autobiographical lyrics and with the subject matter of “Where’s Shergar?” rather on the old side maybe the seeds to some of the songs had actually been sown earlier in Johnny’s career.
With a cry of “Okay Tomcats, let’s do this” on the alternate album version of “Catatonic” at the start of the record we know that Johnny means business and business is going to be good. It’s been known from past Bootleg tapes that Johnny’s colleagues will on the sly record him in conversation and then put his missive to music. This is what seems to have happened with “The Little Shop”. Johnny is either reading a shopping or a price list from his local convenience store. “Beers, two for five quid” all accompanied by a piano. The ultimate music for a ride in a lift that’s never going to stop at your floor. As well as Captain Sensible, former member Xerxes makes an appearance adding Saxonette on “I Feel Like I’m Falling Away” and on “Oh Baby” it suspiciously sounds like Johnny has phoned in his vocals, which is fortunate as he sings about wanting to swim naked with some unsuspecting Boiler in a Swimming Pool. Hardcore Moped fans will lap this up, casual Punk Rock fans might need to see Fred Burns’ “Basically…Johnny Moped” documentary before fully appreciating why grown men will get all teary-eyed over the Moped mega-dross sound.
“Lurrigate Your Mind” is available on either Blue or Red vinyl, a limited mega bundle that includes split coloured vinyl, a scarf, a slipmat, and a Badge.
Buy ‘Lurrigate Your Mind’ Here
Author: Armitage Smith