Lightning Bolt – Hypermagic Mountain & Wonderful Rainbow

Do you like to yell?

Hands down the best live show I saw in 2006 in terms of intensity and insanity was Lightning Bolt opening for Boredoms. They stole the show from the dance floor of Webster Hall and drove my wife from the room. (Apparently earplugs make her dizzy; according to the internet this is a somewhat common phenomenon.) She wasn’t the only female making an exit – a number of what one might term “snotty chicks from Williamsburg” types shoved their way to the front of the circle surrounding the band, only to retreat en masse about three minutes into the set when people started pogoing.

Sometimes you just can’t fake the funk, ladies.

Schadenfreudeyness aside, holy craparoo this was a fun 50 minutes or so. I had never really cared for what I’d heard from them in the past, so I failed to dig too far into their catalog. Big mistake, though one that was rectified to the tune of $20 bucks at the show, btw, so tacos on me or some pills or whatever. Lots of yelling and screaming were had, fun abounded, sweat was leaked (to be fair that’s pretty much a 24/7 thing anyway) and jubilence was felt.

It was the sort of show where I kinda felt young again, back in the days when dressing badly was a consequence of income rather than apathy, and none of my friends would go with me ’cause everything was weird and depressing. I don’t do pits anymore, but if you do, these guys are your ticket. Boredoms are absolutely fabulous and totally transcendental and so on and so forth but these guys are visceral. They write songs about stuff – you can’t tell because the drummer/singer is screaming into a mic that’s smashed into his mouth by a ski mask or some other colorful face apparatus (but not in wax museum way like Buckethead) – and play like they were in pre-natal band camp together. They’re a two piece that sounds like a three piece.

Both albums are similar in tenor and tone; lots of quick stops and starts, plenty of really catchy bridges, huge dynamic changes that yank you in and out that pleasant state between wanting to punch someone in the face and wanting to rub one out over how nice (in a kinda shitty, lo-fi way) the bass and drums fits together. Another way to describe it is to yell “gahh gahh gahha gahhh” and play really fast and it’s not shitty at all. Of course, I could just say “it’s catchy” but “gahh gahh gahha gahhh” is far more appropriate.

And hell, Hypermagic Mountain actually isn’t all that lo-fi, comparatively speaking.

And this is the best picture from their website:

Now I realize that I may have made it sound like women don’t like Lightning Bolt. I don’t think that’s true, it’s just who wants to get sweated on and punched in the face? Well, aside from the guys up front, in a crowd that’s going to show up to see Boredoms, probably not that many people.

And out of that section an even smaller amount will be women. Why? Because this kind of rock is a sausage party. Why is that? Probably patriarchy. And tremendous muscle mass differences. And the segment of the population that enjoys getting hit and kicked a lot is something of a subsection of a subsection, largely male and young. And ultimately if you’re consciously attempting to look like you live in Williamsburg, you probably want to keep all of your teeth unbroken and unsweated upon, because no investment banker is going to marry you in five years with missing teeth and somewhat dodgy taste in music. Your babies will be too frightened to suckle, and will wither up and die.

Though there’s some shots of excited women up front on the awesome photo section of the website (but the woman in the middle could also be upset about the sweaty hand on her ass as well – the dude next to her looks a little scummy :

photo section of site


Filed under music

5 responses to “Lightning Bolt – Hypermagic Mountain & Wonderful Rainbow

  1. amanda

    i know its been almost a year since you wrote this, but i died laughing. lightning bolt rocks.

  2. Pingback: People Really Seem To Hate The Dickens Out Of Wavves « here there be rodents

  3. WallySparks

    You daft cracker! That is me next to that thin bitch. I look scummy? Try looking in your broken mirror you bald headeded, gap-toothed fool!

  4. gap-toothed?

    which one are you? left or right? the dude on the left is a bit mouthbreathery but the one on the right has that moustache thing going on.

    both are dwarfed by the guy in the light blue shirt playing pocket pool, mind you.

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