Boomkat Product Review:
Available on vinyl for first time in 20 years, Lightning Bolt’s game-shifting debut battery of improvised math rock noise and wild hair free jazz returns to slap us around the chops once more
Revolving Brian Chippendale and Brian Gibson, the two-piece from Providence, Rhode Island, USA first came to acclaim with their self-titled LP in 1999 and became fetishised by so many smelly young men (and some less smelly lasses) soon after. By this point they had already built up a mean reputation for throwing down guerrilla performances - most often playing on the floor rather than stage - and had already lost a member in Hisham Baroocha, who would notably go on to form his own band with the similarly scuzzy Black Dice.
Recorded in their formidable duo setup, the original 750 edition pressing of ‘Lightning Bolt’ remains the duo’s most prized and sought-after side, so this reissue is most necessary. In their own driving style, the sound could easily be compared to everything from early no wave to the key inspiration of Japanese noise from Boredoms, as much as Sun Ra’s free jazz, and less obvious but integral influence from Philip Glass, but ultimately the mode is pure fuckin’ punk in the best way.
Addendum to the original single LP of thundering drums and rip-your-head-off-shit-down-your-neck guitars, the second disc features material recorded at same time as their demo but never released, ranging from the throttled madness of ‘Zone’ to the rotted pelt of ‘And Beyond’.