Lightning Bolt Wonderful Rainbow

[Load; 2003]

Rating: 4.5/5

Styles: rock & roll, hardcore punk, metal
Others: The Psychic Paramount, Parts and Labor, High On Fire


I want to be the third member of Lightning Bolt. In their early conception phase, Lightning Bolt was, in fact, a trio. However, ex-vocalist Hisham Bahroocha left to play drums in the equally phenomenal Black Dice before LB's first release, leaving Brian Gibson (bass) and Brian Chippendale (drums) to pick up the slack. But wouldn't it be easier if I just joined the band? Seriously, can the band really create abrasive, in-your-face, dissonant noise rock as a duo? It'd sound empty and hollow, right? Well, unfortunately for me, it doesn't. They've proven it before, and they've proven it again. Wonderful Rainbow, the band's third LP, is a cataclysmic catastrophe of epic proportions, meaning it's so full that it would throw up if any more were fed into its gaping mouth.

And yet the albums still sounds like sonic vomit. It's gross, ugly, and stinks of road kill. It celebrates the burgeoning under-underground, relying both on style and execution to make their voices heard. And my god is it beautiful. Probably the most successful stylistic element the band harbors is the way they play their instruments, which is extremely rough and outlandishly violent. Chippendale pounds on the drums as if he were trying to play louder than a 20-piece version of Acid Mothers Temple, while Gibson's thudding basslines sound like Les Claypool, Flea, and Mike Dirnt dry-humping one another on McCartney's love sofa. The result: unrequited love songs for the alienated rocker.

But Wonderful Rainbow is not all noise and cacophony. Underneath the distorted waves and discordant caterwauling are hummable melodies that forge new ways into your body. It's one of the most violent albums released in a long time, yet it's still palpable. There's something to hold on to, something you'll never want to let go. So forget about the My Morning Jacket and Songs: Ohia scene, the GY!BE and Out Hud scene; screw Interpol and Spoon, Neko Case and the New Pornographers. There's a brooding musical maelstrom just beneath the surface of "indie rock," and it's led by the likes of Lightning Bolt.

1. Hello Morning
2. Assassins
3. Dracula Mountain
4. 2 Towers
5. On Fire
6. Crown of Storms
7. Longstockings
8. Wonderful Rainbow
9. 30000 Monkies
10. Duel in the Deep

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