Album cover Oblivion Hunter - Lightning Bolt
Oblivion HunterLightning Bolt7/10

Lightning Bolt - Oblivion Hunter

25 Sep 2012 macron1
Soundtrack for the end of the world
sardless reviews on Oblivion Hunter, September 2012.

Oblivion Hunter is the latest release from noise experts Lightning Bolt. Last we heard from these guys was in 2009 with their fresh masterpiece Earthly Delights (sardless review 8.0/10). This time around, Lighting Bolt have unleashed Oblivion Hunter, which is a collection of recording sessions rescued from 2008 and offers a rare historical insight into um 2008.

At this point in my life Lightning Bolt could release a 4 hour fart tape compilation and I would be ready to award it the coveted sardless "BEST NEW MUSIC" award. It is pathetic for a grown man entering his 4th decade to feel this way about something that is not a wife or a kid or a boat or a fancy horse or a local sports team or a new phone or whatever people this age like, so you will find very little in the way of impartiality from this reviewer when it comes to the matter of Lightning Bolt.

The first thing that is striking about Oblivion Hunter is how different it sounds to Lightning Bolt's last few albums worth of material. It is possibly more similar in sound to drummer Brian Chippendale's recent solo efforts under the Black Pus moniker + with some sweet grumbling / screeching guitar riffs thrown in here and there (via Brian Gibson; Wikipedia, Linkedin ). In particular the opening track 'King Candy' and tracks 'Baron Wasteland' and 'Oblivion Balloon' would not have sounded too out of place on something like Pus Mortem or something, or perhaps one of Lightning Bolt's earlier albums.

Given Lightning Bolt is a 2 person band, the idea that Lightning Bolt material might sound like Chippendale with a guitarist is not very insightful and seems like a not unlikely thing to happen—i.e. that is exactly what it is—but Oblivion Hunter does sound to be a gentle deviation from the path cut for the period covering Hypermagic MountainEarthly Delights. This out of place sound, in relation to what could be thought of as the traditional "Lightning Bolt sound," may have something to do with the murky story of these recordings being rarities and "lost cuts" from 2008. Given Earthly Delights came out in 2009 and some/all of these tracks were likely recorded around the same time, the presence of the peculiar sound to Oblivion Hunter seems odd. It may have been the Oblivion Hunter tracks did not fit the sound they were going for at the time so they waited a bit or something?

Elsewhere, Oblivion Hunter in places seems to hark back to their earlier more lengthy and hypnotic stuff, in particular the 13 minute++ 'World Wobbly Wide'. Then there is the track 'The Soft Spoken Spectre' that straight up sounds like a Turkish Bağlama jam, so there is all kinds of stuff on here: old sounding stuff, new sounding stuff, interesting sounding stuff, things like that, all compressed into a breezy 38.1 minutes spread across 7 tracks. Oblivion Hunter is a worthwhile collection of tracks regardless, is a must for the LB completest, and we are all glad they released them now in 2012 before the world ends. Get Oblivion Hunter here.

Sardless Tracks

  • Baron Wasteland
  • The Soft Spoken Spectre
  • World Wobbly Wide

Track Listing

  1. King Candy
  2. Baron Wasteland
  3. Oblivion Balloon
  4. Fly Fucker Fly
  5. The Soft Spoken Spectre
  6. Salamander
  7. World Wobbly Wide