Friday, October 9, 2009

Lightning Bolt - Earthly Delights

Lightning Bolt
Earthly Delights
(2009, Load)
RIYL = Mindflayer, Hella, HEALTH

When I was a freshman at Salt Lake Community College (that’s right!) I wrote a rhetorical analysis of articles and reviews written about Lightning Bolt. As you might imagine, the paper highlighted the inevitably violent imagery used when describing Lightning Bolt’s sound. It seemed (and still seems) almost impossible to describe what Lightning Bolt does with just a bass guitar and drums without invoking the frantic, jagged, propulsive, brutally aggressive nature of their music. However, despite the obligatory mentions of ear pummeling, brain collapsing rock n’ roll, there has also always been an ever present innocence to Lightning Bolt. A kind of wry smile and mischievous turn that made Lightning Bolt fun rather than malicious. That, I think, is the genius of the group. And make no mistake, this stuff is bloody genius! Now, it has been sometime since Lightning Bolt last released an album and I have developed some fear that the freshness and vitality of the Lightning Bolt sound was losing its luster. After all, Hypermagic Mountain, for all its glorious goodness, was definitely no Wonderful Rainbow. And the unfortunate trend seems to be that most bands taper off in musical genius, rarely morphing or improving on their breakthrough classics. Lightning Bolt was still the funnest live show I’ve ever been too, but I just wasn’t sure if I could take the slow descent from another one of my all time favourite bands. I was genuinely nervous, but after my first run through Earthly Delights, all that nervousness just evaporated. Back again was that simultaneous strain of lips and neck, the proper result banging my head, eyes closed all while smiling from ear to ear. Earthly Delights is a beautiful, gratuitously nutso aggressive return to form for a band that really only made a minor dip before waiting five(!) years to return with this. On the side of innovation, there really isn’t a whole lot to say. Lightning Bolt is still blasting riffs and bass pedals a mile a minute, yet somehow Earthly Delights feels as refreshing and relevant as anything the band has produced. And it makes me happy for it to be so. BOOM SMSHy Clap BANGBANG chugga chugga chugga SMASH BLAMMMMM! Oh Lightning Bolt, We’ve missed you. Thank you for coming back. Thank you for Earthly Delights! I love love love Lightning Bolt and Earthly Delights is a healthy example of why.


1 comment:

Mantis said...

"Gratuitously nutso" is the best single-instance usage of the English language I have ever encountered.
You write such good reviews.