Lightning Bolt - Oblivion Hunter

by Steve Reynolds Rating:9 Release Date:2012-09-24

Rhode Island's bonkers bass/drum noise rock duo Lightning Bolt don't fear the reaper, no way. In fact, they positively endorse him. Renowned for their chaotic, confrontational live shows, Brian Chippendale (drums) and Brian Gibson (bass) literally sit in the audience baying for your attention. Their notoriety is surpassed by the uniqueness of their belligerent delivery. Chippendale wears a gimp mask with a contact mic strapped to the inside while Gibson delivers a heavy tirade of sheer dissonance and discordant pedal abuse.

New EP Oblivion Hunter continues where their previous material left off. Working off a 'why change a template for the sake of it' approach, they propel straight into cathartic opener 'King Candy'. Chippendale's voice is pretty much masked (ha, get it?) by the clanking and battering drum patterns, while Gibson's rumbling bass simply gets angrier and angrier. At times it could fall into prog territory but the lo-fi mix and the general messy anger prevents that from becoming a reality.

'Baron Wasteland' has a cut-switch of blind white noise thrust among it and bass sounds like rolling thunder slowly closing over your eardrums. The diversity, unkempt approach to musicianship and lack of verse/chorus/verse makes for a truly enveloping experience and while some people might class it as simply 'unlistenable noise', what the hell is wrong with that when LB's approach is a simply divine and cheekily bloody good?

'Fly Fucker Fly' has a bastard of a guitar riff, while the relentless drum beats would wake the most ardently lazy student from their flea pit. Meanwhile, the Go! Team influenced 'The Soft Spoken Spectre' is a respite not necessarily welcomed but nevertheless smile-raising since it throws the listener a curveball different from the usual, violent Lightning Bolt sounds.

The epic, 13-minute wigout 'World Wobbly Wide' closes the EP. It is a terrifyingly brutal, caustic closeout, with the duo pushing themselves to such a limit it leaves no space, strangling every ounce of oxygen from their oppressively constant lungs and body parts.

Don't file under 'easy listening' - file under 'fucking great'!

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