Lightning Bolt - Earthly Delights (Cover Artwork)

Lightning Bolt

Earthly Delights (2009)


After four years with no recorded output, Lightning Bolt is still able to make interesting music and more noise than any two guys should be physically able to. Brian Chippendale, the drummer/vocalist, is still pounding his way through songs and echoing out vocals, seemingly at random. The other Brian, Brian Gibson, is still able to produce noises from his bass guitar that are both interesting and probably illegal in some of the more uptight states (Delaware, etc.).

Their newest offering, Earthly Delights, wastes no time pummeling the listener into submission as album opener, "Sound Guardians," begins with a pounding pace. The second song, "Nation of Boar," is really where things start to get interesting. The vocals that echo throughout the energetic song are highly inaudible -- which is a shame, as I would definitely like to hear what somebody making this type of music has to say. The bass, with its many screeches and various goings-on, will occasionally surprise you with an unexpected sound. The song ends with the bass wailing out a line that wouldn't be out of place on the soundtrack to a '60s spaghetti western. What makes this enjoyable is the fact that Brian Gibson can make arrangements using five strings what those with six strings couldn't even dream of.

"Colossus" the lead-off "single," if you can call it that, and lumbers in lackadaisically. The pace and enormity of the song are deserving of its title. While I have no problem with the song, I feel that it is the weakest on the album. Why they chose it to be the sole Earthly Delights song on their MySpace page is questionable. The album continues as expected, with the bass switching from sludgy to jangly to indescribable, sometimes within the confines of the same song.

Then, "Funny Farm" starts. "Funny Farm" will knock your dick so far into the dirt, you'll be playing "just the tip" with the Great Wall of China. Posturing a sludgy, noisy bassline, the song suddenly delves into a country-style riff. It sounds like something the inbred kid from "Deliverance" would play if he found a distortion pedal. "Rain on Lake I'm Swimming In" sounds like a random noise intermission, but the melodies the song portrays become evident the more you listen to it.

The album finishes strongly with "Transmissionary." By this time, you've lost count of how many times you've had to pick up your dick out of the mud. Your dick is so dirty by this point, the mere sight of it would make even John Holmes blush. "Transmissionary," clocking in at over 12 minutes, seems like it goes by in half of that. It's refreshing to see a band have a closer this long while still maintaining the energy, especially for a band like Lightning Bolt, whose fans probably would have been happy with some random noises for the last seven minutes or so.

Fans should be pleased with this output and newcomers should find this a fitting place to start.