Music » CD Reviews

Lightning Bolt

Wonderful Rainbow (Load)

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Lightning Bolt is often hit by writers with hard-ass hyperbole that makes them sound like experimetal terrorists. But the Providence bass/drums duo is merely the scariest fish in the art-punk pond, not a full-fledged member of the noise-core subculture.

Now, that's not to say Wonderful Rainbow doesn't contain the elemental force of noise-core. Bassist Brian Gibson's minimalist arpeggiating sounds like Thurston Moore serving up an interpretation of Yngwie Malmstein. Meanwhile, Brian Chippendale either patters around the din like a jazz drummer or hammers Gibson's calibrated, industrial Sabbath riffs into the concrete. Titles include "Dracula Mountain" and "30,000 Monkeys."

Yet it's when Lightning Bolt isn't being cheeky or thunder-god-like that it attains the raw beauty of the best experimental music. The album's highlight, strangely enough, is the 45-second opener, "Hello Morning," a complex feedback painting of a sunrise, with the Zen ether of an orchestra tuning up. Po-mo headbangers be damned.

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