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AU60: Lightning Bolt album review

November 17, 2009

LIGHTNING BOLT
EARTHLY DELIGHTS
LOAD

I think we all know what to expect from Lightning Bolt by now, and their formula of bass + drums + extreme volume – subtlety has barely changed one iota on this, their fifth album. As usual, the two Brians from Providence, Rhode Island spend a brisk 50 minutes attempting to kick the shite out of you, the listener, with satisfyingly brutal results. It is possible, though, that the band peaked with their last two albums, Wonderful Rainbow and Hypermagic Mountain, especially the latter, because as an overall experience, Earthly Delights is marginally less thrilling. But there’s not a lot in it.

Of interest to the hardcore are the few interesting new ideas scattered about, like the weirdly country-ish twang to ‘Funny Farm’, the sludgy, stoner-metal feel of ‘Nation of Boar’ and ‘Colossus’ and the positively jaunty (these things are relative) ‘The Sublime Freak’, which rejoices in some unusually playful drumming – i.e. not completely bludgeoning – from Brian Chippendale. The main selling point, however, is the monstrous 12-minute closer ‘Transmissionary’, which is utterly breathtaking in its audacity and sheer sustained power. It will grind your face to dust. In essence, the message here is that if you like the band and want more, you’ll be delighted. If you’ve never heard Lightning Bolt but you’re partial to a bit of ear-splitting insanity, start with Wonderful Rainbow or Hypermagic Mountain. The rest of you, move along now and leave the rest of us to our deafening fun.

7/10

DOWNLOAD: ‘TRANSMISSIONARY’, ‘COLOSSUS’, ‘SOUND GUARDIANS’.
FOR FANS OF: HELLA, BORIS, BLACK SABBATH.

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