Lightning Bolt

reviews Lightning Bolt

Artist: Lightning Bolt
Date: 3 December
Venue: Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Rating: *****

Two piece drum ‘n bass rock juggernaut Lightning Bolt are in town and the air is heavy with the prospect of bleeding ears, rhythms only dogs can hear and widespread aural destruction. The duo have just released their fifth LP, Earthly Delights, and the audience is impatient to experience the new material in the band’s infamous guerilla-style live setting.

Warming things up in style are bizarre Liverpudlians a.P.A.t.T., a band of multi-instrumentalists dressed in uniforms that hint at mental institutionalism, who come on like the Sun Ra Arkestra doing battle with Mr. Bungle. Careering from one musical genre to another, their anti-hierarchical musical fondue is extremely appealing, both accessible and impertinent at once. One second we experience a strange calypso, next a commendably bearded man is screaming urgently atop a speed metal gonzo beat.

But all the frenzied audience are here for is Lightning Bolt, and when the duo stride into view a cheer resounds around the cramped venue. Rejecting the stage and performing in the audience, the band is encircled on all sides by bodies, and yet this is far from a Rourke’s Drift situation as they unleash wave upon wave of musical atomic bombs upon those gathered. The volume is bowel-shaking; Brian Gibson’s bass soulfully yet brutally laying down extra-sensory funk rhythms, as Brian Chippendale, ex-world’s fastest drummer, explodes with physical force, a whirling dervish in a bizarre Mexican wrestling mask. People are putting their fingers in their ears and running from the music, others completely entranced and dancing wildly at the super loud aural massacre.

This is a different frontier of rock ‘n roll – stripped down, souped up and dangerous – junglist and hyper-dub rhythms played live. After the kaleidoscopic onslaught of physical noise those who fled are left to their shame, those who held fast doomed to an eternity of ringing ears.

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