Album cover Earthly Delights - Lightning Bolt
Earthly DelightsLightning Bolt8/10

Lightning Bolt - Earthly Delights

29 Oct 2009 macron1

You never forget the first time you hear Lightning Bolt - it is like someone kicked you in the balls and stole your wallet. It is all at once astonishing, disorienting and occasionally painful. And by "hear" I mean "listen" - initially you are presented with a barrage of noise that is difficult to comprehend, perhaps bordering on unlistenable; however once you are able to puncture the discordance and begin to comprehend (somewhat) what is going on, only then you can appreciate the skill and majesty that the two dudes have going on in their work.

With that lofty introduction in mind as well as the fact that the review purchased not less than 4 tickets to see them next month, it seems unlikely that this review can at all be an unbiased account of Earthly Delights, the first release from Lightning Bolt since 2005's Hypermagic Mountain. The excitement of new material after such a long wait however is tempered somewhat with the disappointing recent releases from other 21st century west coast avant-punkers. Fortunately, aside from not even being from the west coast, Lightning Bolt does not disappoint .

The first single 'Colossus', starts out with a gentler, proggy, almost Tool-like sound that dribbles along gently in a not unpleasant fashion. Fortunately, this is only a brief interlude prior smacking you in the back of the head with the more "traditional" Lightning Bolt sound, and this continues in tracks such as 'Nation of Boar' and 'S.O.S', while 'Transmissionary' is a lengthy (12 minutes++) heavily repetitive hypnotic piece of the traditional Lightning Bolt mould, reminiscent of their older stuff such as 'Fleeing The Valley Of Whirling Knives' from 1999s self-titled effort.

New musical vistas are also traipsed, with the ridiculously named 'Funny Farm' perhaps the most accessible track for the uninitiated, featuring what can only be described as a "country" sound (although this may be somewhat influenced by the track name). 'Rain On The Lake I'm Swimming On' is a dreamy bit of wank of questionable necessity but not too bad, while 'Colossus' features that hard-to-finger bogan metal vibe. All in all this is a solid effort from the boys, and it is good to have them back after the break. MORE PLEASE.

Sardless Tracks

  • Funny Farm
  • Colossus

Track Listing

  1. Sound Guardians
  2. Nation of Boar
  3. Colossus
  4. The Sublime Freak
  5. Flooded Chamber
  6. Funny Farm
  7. Rain On Lake Im Swimming In
  8. S.O.S.
  9. Transmissionary