Lightning Bolt – Earthly Delights

Lightning Bolt – Earthly Delights

Lightning Bolt – Earthly Delights

One of the best topics amongst music fanatics is their choice of listening preference. Do you need to hear something in your car to form a valid opinion? Is listening to an album on a good pair of headphones worthwhile? Does it even matter if it’s blaring from your cheap computer speakers? If you ask me, the music of noise rock duo Lightning Bolt, consisting of Brian Chippendale (drums, vocals) and Brian Gibson (bass), should be heard in every possible channel.

For years, Lightning Bolt has been the true epitome of the Do-It-Yourself belief: placing all of your own efforts into making something genuine and sincere. And still, after album and album of heavenly raucous noise, they’ve enjoyed slight success. Earthly Delights is an album that demands repeated listens and once it nestles deep into your brain, it will never let go with its forceful blend of vision and heart.

Gibson’s always been a more-than-proficient bass player and on Earthly Delights, nothing’s changed. The grimy sludge heard on “Nation of Boar,” altering from a relentless frenzy into a calculated melody of destruction, is Gibson’s ability put on full display. Because behind the exterior of blissful noise are two incredibly talented musicians that employ their creative juices into the chamber of delectable music.

You see, I have an amazing pair of headphones that were gifted to me as a Christmas present a few years back. They’re the kinds that cover your entire ear and from researching on-line, they cost a lot of money. Most of the time, they’re used for classical and jazz music but primarily, they pull every sound out of the dark and into the light. Earthly Delights has too many jewels too describe but for every quickly enforced riff, there is a magical musical moment of growth and climax and if you aren’t careful, you’ll foolishly miss them.

“Colossus” is a sweepingly grand song with a title that couldn’t be more apt. The album’s only true ballad – if it can even be called that – features some of the album’s best dynamics. The ending, especially, finds Chippendale slamming away on a hi-hat that shakes and rattles with an intense roll and while Gibson does enough splattering of his own, the song’s building of sounds alleviate an increasing jolt of life. And if you’re looking for something with a smooth blend of musicality and force, look no further than “Funny Farm.” A countrified melody, both members sing in the background of the mix as they put away their walls of noise in favor of conveying a somewhat tranquil exposition. Does it explode after a minute of this? Of course it does and it’s superb.

When you hear the stories that after Hisham Bharoocha left the band to form Black Dice, Chippendale took over vocals by jamming the microphone into his mouth, it all seems to make perfect sense. Lightning Bolt concentrate their efforts around the sheer propulsion and energy their music drives off. And while Chippendale has always been an excellent drummer, the vocals he provides here and there open up the sounds in immense manners. On the forever moving “Transmissionary,” fused with menacing, twirling music that swirls and confuses, his vocals convey a ghostly blend of spectral vision – they’re spooky, vital and completely necessary.

Music like this is a reward just waiting to happen and if you give it a fair shot, it will surely win you over. Even if you’ve never been a fan, I am sure you’ve seen Lightning Bolt’s name and have been intrigued. There is no reason why Earthly Delights shouldn’t play a role in your music listening for 2009 because it’s a winner, yet again, from a duo that are clearly making all of the right moves.

Load Records