1, 2, 3, 4, what are we fighting for?
In honor of my going to see Lightning Bolt for the first time, I would like to share with you all why I like them so darn much and why I am scared to go to this show.
James Ricks (yes, THE James Ricks) was the first to turn me on to them by asking me to see them at the Knitting Factory. As I recall, the message left on my cellphone was something like: "Tina, it's James. Lightning Bolt are playing at the Knitting Factory tomorrow night and we should go. I hear their live show is fucking nuts. They may have burned down a club. Call me."
Remember, I said the message was "something like" that. I do remember that the live show was supposedly nuts. I don't know if they burned down a club, but I wouldn't be surprised because their music is…yes, I'm gonna say it! INCENDIARY! I couldn't go to the show, and they slipped from my mind until I downloaded a song ("13 Monsters"), was wowed and then bought the Contract Documents. For the record, I thought "13 Monsters" was a song with a full band behind it. This is an important note. I then bought Ride the Skies, at Newbury Comics in Boston. I was up there for New Year's (2004) with Phil and some of his friends and after I got the CD, we all decided to listen to it in the car and were shocked. I think we just sat there listening to the first song with mouths open. Especially because we found out the band had 2 people in it. Those noises could not be coming from a single bass guitar and a drum kit. No fucking way. But it's true! The band has only two members and they sound like a zillion! And they are both named Brian! Chippendale slams on the drums like a marathon runner and sometimes sings through a ski mask with a mic somehow attached to it. Gibson rends noise from his bass that are impossible. The man plays RIFFS on a bass guitar! The two create an amazing sound. Is it hardcore? Metal? Math-rock? Fucking electronica? Art rock?! You can't define it and you either like it or you don't, but I am so psyched to see them live after watching their tour DVD (The Power of Salad).
The first song of Ride the Skies is "Forcefield" and after much buzzing and strange arpeggios going on you get the monster sound of Chippendale banging away at the toms. The two work closely with each other, sometimes hitting the beat spot on that gets in your brain and makes you bop. At other times the bass is off doing this weird thing that sounds like a violin, I shit you not. It's a great song to start an album. "13 Monsters" the first LB song I ever heard is one that will kick your ass and then make you mop up the floor that is soaked with your sweat. It's one of the shorter songs on the album, but hoo boy! it packs a punch (Runners, this song is for running. This song is also good for beating things). The song starts of with Chippendale singing a little sing-song ditty, but it's dirty and distorted and there are only drums to back it up. Suddenly, the drums pick up and the bass joins in and its time to throw things people and jump around!! The rest of the songs are different, sonically, from one another and "Into the Mist 2" is also another one to get into. Their other album, Wonderful Rainbow, is a little bit less abrasive then Ride the Skies, but only on certain songs. Things to look out for here are "Assassins" and "30000 Monkeys." You also have to love guys that kicked this out in Rhode Island, draw funny little cartoons (see this interview) and seem sincere (see the DVD) and get some free songs. Seriously, I love these guys. I hope I don't get hit in the head at the show and I hope people will join me.