October 20, 2005

Test Spin: Lightening Bolt

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Lightning Bolt releases tend to create a groundswell in the rock community. Their 2003 release, Wonderful Rainbow, jolted rock’s tired guitar-drums-bass formula. Hypermagic Mountain aims to stretch the noisy riffs of their previous album into a thumping, spastic, prog-rock beat. Despite the maelstrom of sound they produce, the band consists of only two members: a bassist and a drummer. The bassist finds comfort in distorted progressions, which he plays repetitively at a break-neck pace. His rhythms become familiar over the 12 tracks, but he coaxes enough variation out of his mountainous setup to keep your toes tapping.The drumming on the album is nothing short of knee-buckling. “Megaghost” contains waves of technically impressive and invigorating drumming paired with muffled cries and monstrous bass lines. The drummer, Brian Chippendale, doesn’t simply hit the drums hard and fast, he does so with a prowess that will impress even Neil Peart fans. If listening to “Dead Cowboy” doesn’t have your wrists swinging a pair of invisible drumsticks, check your pulse. Don’t confuse the brash sounds of Hypermagic Mountain with metal; these two deranged art school dropouts play each song with a devilish grin.

Archived article by Andy Meehan
Sun Contributor