Lightning Bolt – Hypermagic Mountain
October 18, 2005
What It Sounds Like: Straight up noise rockers using overly distorted bass, screeching guitars, and incessant pounding drums. Vocals are kept at a minimum.
What do you think of what you think of getting struck by lightning? Can you even wrap your head around what you think it would feel like?
Lightning Bolt has their name spot-on. I imagine time slowing down, but in that same breath, the split second realization of the electricity that just pummeled your body comes to you in full force. As it shoots up your arms, Captain Caveman begins to play. Each hit of the drum is another heave of your chest, and every mind-numbing guitar tone is another split of your head (in gut-wrenching pain, not a physical head split of course – this ain’t no splatterhouse here).
Sounds pleasant, no?
In truth, Lighting Bolt’s Hypermagic Mountain is anything but. It’s dense. It’s powerful. It’s enough to to make you believe that if you turn it up loud enough, the electricity and sheer unnerving tones of the bass and guitar may just be enough to set you on fire. Man, it’s freaking intense. Opener 2morrow Morrow Land is awesome. The solo guitar work is wonderful, and when the other instruments come changing in like a ninety mile per hour fastball, it’s power personified. The riffage on Bizarro Zarro Land is killer. The exploding electric outlets (at least that’s what they sound like to me) on the latter half of Mega Ghost are super fun – for you and the rest of your cellmates at the insane asylum you are sure to check yourself into at the completion of this record.
There is one huge problem here however, and it’s not something that can be easily overlooked.
This thing is friggin’ long. Fifty-six minutes and forty-forty second long, to be exact – just shy of a whole hour – and it’s simply too much to take. Noise rock isn’t to be extended on a disc. Live, I understand it – you want a visual and audible madhouse – you want people to start seeing colors on the stage that are not really there – I get it, I get it. But we don’t need a whole eight minutes of Dead Cowboy, and we certainly don’t need almost ten minutes of Mohawk Windmill. It’s too much, and the change-ups throughout the songs are not enough to separate them to not make it seem like way too long of a drone. Cut this thing back to half an hour, and take every three minute blare of the same structure and condense it down to thirty seconds. Do this, and we’ll have a much stronger record on our hands.
Lighting Bolt have a solid grasp on noise rock, but they’ve overextended themselves on Hypermagic Mountain, and it hurts.
“Man, that commercial was actually really funny!”
How about we try watching it over and over again for an hour?
5 / 10
If you had to listen to two tracks: 2morrow Morrow Land / Mega Ghost