Drop everything! Sell the house, sell the kids, get a divorce, find someone else! I’m never coming
home back. Give away your possessions, quit your job, have a
physical fight with your girlfriend and engineer a scenario where she cracks an
ashtray across your scalp, and while you’re recovering with the stitches you
can dedicate the appropriate time and attention to the new releases coming out
of Lightning Bolt, that utterly insane Providence rock group who have, for no
apparent reason surged back into existence, dropping the punishing and unique I
Found a Ring in My Ear on Bandcamp this year along with a second twenty minute
jam titled 20; and it’s… it’s… complex.
It isn’t simple, it’s closest to the noise of Fushitsusha or some of those
other Japrock nutters. There are those that hold that Japrock was the best.
Somewhere in the filtering process from all that joyous American rock and roll
coming out of the bases and the few vinyls that made it across to Japan the
whole idea got kinda fuzzy. Japrock
is certainly some of the heaviest rock and roll yer likely to be subjected to,
High Rise, Les Razillles Denudes and Mainliner will take their brand of Blue
Cheer worship so far you’ll forget those Frisco freaks and be swept away on the
orient express. Now there’s more psychedelic mayhem feed through the production
meat grinder except it ain’t got no breaks. We can all appreciate the
unstoppable vinyl brilliance of it, the way those forging-ahead motherfuckers
had to take in the Faust Tapes in that cruel marketing twist, the best psychedelic album for half a quid?
I’ll have two! Well this is even better, it’s totally free.
After retiring for an afternoon of listening to soft sitar music while wandering around the park in flares it hit me. I came back to my 21st century flat after my evening in Golden Gate Park and realised what this is. It’s a raucus rowdy twenty minutes fuck-fest by hepped-up freaks too stoned to know any better. Riffing and spinning away, making Radio Moscow look like Pink Floyd and making High Rise sound like Pink Floyd too (Pink Floyd meaning, slow, pinprick production and utterly turgid). Frantic and visceral and quite unlike anything I’ve heard before. I’m recalling all the really out-there trips of recent times, of בלטה and Mainliner circa Mainliner Sonic for any kind of a reference point. Things with such lo-fi production and yet hit you like a hammer on the front of a jet.
I missed Lightning Bolt the first time around, but I still can’t get into their albums out on Load Records. I Found a Ring in My Ear I like though, it has a panning sweeping lengthy ear-splitting kaleidoscopic mayhem running through it like swearwords in a stick of Brighton rock and a genuine unrelenting and unstoppable rock fury underpinning the whole thing. It’s a syringe in the arm and premium high quality hee hee hee shot straight up the spinal column to swim in psychedelic mushroom tones in the lobes of the brain and a massive middle-fingered fuck you to all the really depressing modern music I’ve been subjected to of late. I got into a self-destructive spiral of listening to really really shitty pop music and getting so depressed that only more really really shitty pop music could be the soundtrack to this world where Call Me Maybe is actually made into a song. In this world, where atrocities virtually unthinkable ten years ago have become commonplace, where nobody is anything anymore and we are all just going through the motions. There is a tendancy of humans exposed to high-trauma situations to automatonise, become robotic so they just exist without having to be present, it happened to doctors at Hiroshima and I’m becoming increasingly convinced it’s happening to all of us in this horrifying nightmare reality; nobody seems to stop and say stop! Can’t you see this is fucking insane!? Nobody likes this, nobody is having fun, even the people exploiting us are fucking miserable! Just start loving each other again, for God’s sake! This is why shit music really gives me the fear, for the same reason I love music. Music is more universal than books, it needs no training and no expertise in its enjoyment, it allows no hinderances, it’s more universal than cinema too, but it is also more portable. Cinema requires equipment, silence, dedication, and a novel can only be read by one person; but music, music is the beat of the world to match our own organic percussion. Music is played in supermarkets and you catch snatches of it as cars roll past you. It’s truly universal and the good news for the purveyors of the rock and roll revolution is that it’s everywhere. This is why I hate bad music, if we got some spiritually dead shit dropped, zombifying agent turning us all into Hiroshima doctors it spreads like dull wildfire, consuming creativity, love, understanding, intelligence, desire for new things… it just takes it all away until all humanity wants is more tedium and they demand it! “We don’t want something new. We don’t like new things, we like things we like already”. Trust me, if we all start listening to music that punches like Lightning Bolt’s latest offerings we’ll soon be snapped out of our misery coma and back to reality. Good news is that there seems to be no short supply. At the end of I Found a Ring In My Ear it’s the tech that’s flagging, not the boys, as the tape simply runs out like the end of Two Lane Blacktop. The conclusion of the piece can’t be heard and for all we know they’re still flailing away at those incessant drum-laden beats now, weeks and weeks of no sleep, just pounding away… I hope so. Their Bandcamp promises frequent new recordings, and there is a mini-tour in the works for August if you live in the right places.
You can buy it here for as much as you’d like, but please lend them some money to fix the hole in the boat.
Written under duress by Steven.