In noise music there are few bands that have the reach and the influence as Rhode Island duo Lightning Bolt. Since their inception, anyone who caught the band in person could tell you that their shows and their sound are like an auditory explosion. On their new album Sonic Citadel, the two piece crafts their most accessible release to date without losing any of the edge that catapulted them to the heights they’re at with the expanding fan base.
The opening track “Blow To The Head” is about as bombastic as a track can get. When the drums feel like they’ll cease the bass comes in as do the vocals and the assault begins. The track is definitely more upbeat than we were expecting, but that’s not a bad thing either. The crazed tones of “Big Banger” are on an epic level, “Tom Thump” sounds like a kick to the head from an equine beast and “Bouncy House” may be the best use of prog tones we’ve heard in a good while.
But while chaos is what we expect from the duo, more focused and built up tracks weren’t at all. Though with that said, even in that regard the album doesn’t relent with its tactile onslaught of sound. “Air Conditioning” opens more rock focused before it heads down a dark path. “Don Henley In The Park” begins like an acoustic jam before it turns into a weaving machine of instrumentation, and “All Insane” has noodles of a sped up doom feel. But with all of this, our favorite song of the eleven came on “Van Halen 2049.” It easily reminds you of a world where the walls will shake and the roof could collapse at any moment. Searing in its intensity, face melting in its progressions, it proves that Lightning Bolt haven’t lost their edge this far into their career.
Sonic Citadel is available for purchase directly from Thrill Jockey Records. It’s also available to stream on all platforms and it can be purchased digitally in all online music stores. Lightning Bolt is on tour November 05 in Metz, France at Les Trinitaires until November 16 in Glasgow, UK at SWG3. The band’s complete tour schedule is located here.
Image Credits: Photo by Natalja Kent.