Lightning Bolt - Hypermagic Mountain (Cover Artwork)

Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt: Hypermagic MountainHypermagic Mountain (2005)

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: sallyjessesallyjesse
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Over the last few years, Providence's power duo Lightning Bolt have been in an envious position for most bands. Flagshipping a fast growing and well-respected independent label, they almost single-handedly sucked people into their own underground scene and have managed to keep all of them there, wi.
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Over the last few years, Providence's power duo Lightning Bolt have been in an envious position for most bands. Flagshipping a fast growing and well-respected independent label, they almost single-handedly sucked people into their own underground scene and have managed to keep all of them there, with bells on. Their live shows are borderline legendary, packed with more volume than ten bands twice their size. In the last year, they've been featured in Spin, played with Sonic Youth, and headlined All Tomorrows Parties festival (tha shit), all under their own terms and resources.

Hypermagic Mountain is quickly becoming the highest selling album on Load Records, reportedly selling out of all vinyl LPs in the first week. If that's not encouraging, then I don't know what is. It is however, somewhat of a typical Lightning Bolt album. Their setup, for you newbies, is bass, run through a million effects, and drums, with the occasional yelp from drummer Brian Chippandale and his gas mask microphone. This album has its ups and downs, but overall is an important step in the deflowering of new music. More riff-heavy than most of their previous work, Hypermagic Mountain finds Lightning Bolt a little more song-oriented than before. More emphasis is added to that with the lyrics, previously anybody's guess, clearly printed in the booklet. The full-on, blasting break beats are there, as well as a good amount of experimentation with different effect pedals on the bass. Brian Gibson has always treated the bass more like a guitar, and on several tracks, reaches nirvana with metal-ish runs and very catchy melodies. The audo assault lasts over 50 minutes, birthing demons crossbread somewhere between Slayer and Sonic Youth. The downsides to the album, and with LB in general, is the tendency to play a riff or part so long, it becomes redundant and even a little annoying. While this approach is extremely effective live, it drags a little on the recorded end.

This album will prove to be a gateway drug for LOTS of people jaded with the state of aggressive music. It is experimental enough for noise fans, catchy enough for punk fans, and loud enough for fans of whatever, galaxies away. This isn't my favorite of Lightning Bolt's albums, but there are moments of pure bliss throughout, making it a worthy composition of ROCK.

Oh, the artwork you say? Possibly the best I've ever seen.

Go see them live, and feel free to dive into Load's extensive roster for more bands "in the same food group."


People who liked this also liked:
Genghis Tron - Dead Mountain MouthDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegePelican - The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the ThawMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeBad Brains - Bad BrainsAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitDillinger Four - Situationist ComedyPaint It Black - ParadiseDeath From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm A Machine

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
SilentStorms (December 27, 2005)

Oh, and I hate when people say this in 'punkier' or whatever. It's music. If it's good it's good, if not ... well, u know. That seems a little unwarranted, how bout punk = punk? Fuck this punkier bullshit.

SilentStorms (December 27, 2005)

I DID NOT like this review, it was a little ... well ... not too good, by my tastes at least. Not interested. But everyone's gotta dislike some things.

Anonymous (December 26, 2005)

here is a site with some samples from the album

Anonymous (December 23, 2005)


Seriously, though. One of my friends dropped a song of theirs DJing in a club and cleared the entire room bar three people spazzing out in the centre of the floor. This album SLAYS.

Anonymous (December 22, 2005)

these dudes slaaaaaaaay live. do you know why? cuz they are fucking crazy.

manifesto (December 22, 2005)

I think this record must be great since I'm a bass player and I love distortion and all kinds of effects. But I wanna hear some soundclips of it before buying it. Is there anyplace I can find some? I found several clips from other Lightning Bolt records but nothing from the new one.

kenjamin (December 22, 2005)

no get this, the drummer is actually hanging upside down from his calves on rafters right over his drumset. Okay, so it's just bass and the drummer is air-drumming upside down over his drumset. He then drops down onto his drum stool and starts drumming without missing a beat! My housemate showed it to me and it was fucking mindblowing but I can't find the video anymore.

Anonymous (December 21, 2005)

on stage...i dont think so.

kenjamin (December 21, 2005)

there's a video floating around with the drummer doing some insane onstage acrobatics. Anybody know what i'm talking about?

sickboi (December 21, 2005)

So sallyjesse is fathead?


sallyjesse (December 21, 2005)

eh,whatever, as long as you're listening to it.

-Bowling-Skinhead- (December 21, 2005)

damn, the latter.

rkl (December 21, 2005)

that might work if i were, perhaps unfamiliar with lightning bolt.
im not. ive seen them live, in a crowded bar, coming to the show not knowing who they were.
ride the sky is a constant in my car's cd player.
its good shit.
that doesnt mean theyre punk, though.

sallyjesse (December 21, 2005)

this is "punker" than anything you can think of right now.
that is, assuming punk stll means an approach to life and music that is completely against the social norm of the time.

oh, and if you have noticed, the social norm of this time is "punk". Green Day won a Grammy.

-Bowling-Skinhead- (December 20, 2005)

On an un-related topic.

Is anyone informed on whether or not Bear VS Shark truly did break up, or if was just some sick MySpace joke?

I lean toward the former but I hope for the latter.

This albums great, by the way.

RyanM (December 20, 2005)

Good stuff.

sethcohen (December 20, 2005)

Did anybody else read the interview with Ryan Adams where he said he tried to get them to tour with him this past fall, but it didn't work out.

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

i just heard this album yesterday and i have to say Lightning Bolt freaking rips! It's what i was expecting-the chaosness of it....who's seen their "Power of Salad" movie?

Bosco (December 20, 2005)

Loudest show I've ever been to. The kids who didn't wear earplugs were deaf for nearly a week.

So much fun.

darkstarm (December 20, 2005)

The whole reason this site is great is because of how diverse the range of music being covered is. And the fans of those genre's are covering it, too. Not like Pitchfork where if a "punk" record ever is reviewed it generally gets ass raped.

On that note, R.I.P. BvS.

youwinalemon (December 20, 2005)

"but its not punk in any way shape or form, and goddamnirt reviewer, you know this."

It baffles me that people still give a shit about reviews of "un-punk" albums on this website.

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

Great Record!!!
Yet, These guys smell like my ass when i forget to wipe...
Oh wait that's Fallout Boy, sorry!

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

lightning bolt is too good be reviewed on this site. the popskatepunk faggots that read punknews.org dont deserve lightning bolt. this album is great.

rkl (December 20, 2005)

this album is excellent, so goddamn excellent, technical mastery. lighting bolt is awesome.
but its not punk in any way shape or form, and goddamnirt reviewer, you know this.

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

ummm hella rules.

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

i bet these dudes slay live. i mean SLAY.

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

no bullshit.. best live band

youwinalemon (December 20, 2005)

This album = a party.

skanknsmile (December 20, 2005)

i cannot for the life of me get into this band. Im sorry pitchfork, but just cuz you say its cool doesnt mean poor quality and shitty music is cool.

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

They suck! This album is very, very boring and noisy (but not in a good way), with poor ideas, and it sounds like it was recorded in a toilet. Maybe they are a great live band, but this record is real shit!

gladimnotemo (December 20, 2005)

I really need to get ahold of ANYTHING this band has put out. I almost went and saw them this summer, but my ride bailed. Oh well.

Anonymous (December 20, 2005)

about time you reviewed this cd...if i make it to a lightning bolt show...i hope i come out barely alive with my ears bleeding

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