Artist: Lightning Bolt
Album: Fantasy Empire
Record Label: Thrill Jockey
Release Date: 24th March 2015
Innovative Rhode Island noise duo start to sound like they're slightly running out of ideas on album number seven
Almost straight from the word go on 'Fantasy Empire', the 7th studio full-length by Rhode Island noise-rock duo Lightning Bolt, it's business as usual. Opener 'The Metal East' features tight but frantic instrumentation and screaming feedback terrorism. However, like many of the other tracks here, it falls short of having any particularly exciting character that one probably hasn't heard from the band before.
The moments that exude character are electrifying. 'Over The River and Through the Woods' is six-and-a-half minutes of disgustingly sludgy yet eventually melodic riffing and impossibly primal but rhythmic drumming. Drummer Brian Chippendale's vocals reach a sense of Michael Gira-esque mania on 'King of My World'. But the slightly hypnotic groove of 'Horsepower' doesn't offer a great deal to sink your teeth into, and the riff on 'Runaway Train' is frustratingly predictable. Even though the playing on 11-minute closer 'Snow White (& The 7 Dwarves Fans)' is intense, the duo don't really bring anything new (in the Lightning Bolt sense of the word) to the table. The moments of character are ecstatic, but ultimately much of 'Fantasy Empire' fails to be moving.
Key Tracks: 'Over the River and Through the Woods'
For Fans Of: Hella, Battles