last week I wrote about Prokofiev’s 2nd Piano Concerto, this weeks is on noise rock band Lightning Bolt – which I really don’t think is too dissimilar to Prok at all. Prok 2 at times has that same grotesque loudness as Lightning Bolt that makes both of them so fun and energizing to listen to.
noise rock’s appeal is easily lost on people – they hear the ripping, crunchy, raw abrasiveness of the music and peace out before really giving it a chance. “i don’t understand how anyone can possibly think this is good” is a common phrase I’ve heard from friends when I show them something like Lightning Bolt. but of course you’re not going to like the music at first! music takes work to like! the listening experience isn’t really something you can tune out – actually taking the time to listen closely for nuance, lyricism, layering of the track, etc is how to begin to like music you usually wouldn’t like before. radio pop being manufactured for listenability is a science they’ve got perfected – it’s music you don’t have to work for and music people can like right away. whether or not this makes them bad is debatable, but I really don’t think it does.
back to Lightning Bolt – these guys are nutty. this shit is over-the-top cocaine-hit hyperactivity where a drum beat is battered into your skull. the bass guitar is incredibly crunchy and distorted; the drumming sounds like a rabid animal was let loose. mix these together with a 300BPM track, repetitive yet energetic bass melody, and you’ve got an eardrum-blasting ADHD rock banger. it’s also great at the gym. this is music that hypes you up – it’s got a kind of primitive allure where you just can’t help but let go of social nuance and the facades of daily life and just really candidly jam to loud disorderly shit. this “primitive allure” is completely unpretentious and raw; it draws on that same aspect of smashing office supplies with a sledgehammer. and in the middle of our structured, university-bound lives, we need some of that release from time to time. 13 Monsters is my favorite track from Lightning Bolt. it’s rhythmic as hell, the bass guitar absolutely shreds through the air with crackly stentorian timbre and commands the soundscape along with our monstrous energy from Dave Chippendale. there’s not really much else I have to say about this album besides that it’s some fun stuff.