Upset the Rhythm, the awesome DIY scene-digging promoters, turns (trumpets please) six tonight, and this, a ferocious live set from Rhode Island’s noise duo, Lightning Bolt, is how they choose to blow out their half dozen candles. There are two things you need to know about drummer and vocalist Brian Chippendale and bassist Brian Gibson, y’know, for dinner party talk: they make Death From Above 1979 sound like Robson and Jerome and they play on the floor so every show feels like a very cool house party. Tonight they’re on a raised platform in the middle of the room, the crowd bulging and convulsing around them with faces full of cymbals. It all adds to the intensity: you never know what’s going to happen at a Lightning Bolt gig. And nobody could have predicted that Chippendale would attack a guy with his drum sticks for trying to break his kit! New album ‘Earthly Delights’ gets a ferocious airing. They open with its first track, ‘Sound Guardians’, Gibson’s spaced-out riffage punctuated by Chippendale’s explosive yet masterful, almost superhuman drumming. And the vocals? He screams away at the same time as banging his skins, into a microphone taped inside his mask, which mangles his voice into distorted jibberish. It’s easy to see why Bjork collaborated with him on ‘Volta’. It’s face-melting up until signature noise ‘Dracula Mountain’ with its concussive time signatures, unrelenting speed and motorific bass, which finally builds into chugging METOL grooves to punch the air to. A magical blur of epic proportions – and the perfect birthday present.
By Matthew Cargill
Originally published in issue 13 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. December 2009