Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Lightning Bolt

  • Ride the Skies [Load, 2001] A-
  • Dancing With the Thunder Beings [Load, 2007] Choice Cuts
  • Earthly Delights [Loud, 2009] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Ride the Skies [Load, 2001]
Two pieces, bass and drums-vocalist long ago emigrated from Providence to Brooklyn to lead their Gotham counterpart Black Dice from behind a trap set. But where Black Dice are an s&m noise band like the Swans, Lightning Bolt are a fuck-in-the-doorway noise band. They care about tune, and though they're all-instrumental they're about as "post"-rock as Slayer, Nine Inch Nails, or Sonny Sharrock. Brian Gibson's bass sounds like a guitar half the time, especially when he's stating themes, which tend to be droll, perhaps because they anticipate the cacophony to come, perhaps because you do. The rare brains-in-a-puddle-of-yuck-on-the-floor record actually capable of driving the expressway to your skull. A-

Dancing With the Thunder Beings [Load, 2007]
"The Heart Beat" Choice Cuts

Earthly Delights [Loud, 2009]
What they were put on earth for--loud guitar and very little else, which happens to include a pastoral interlude ("Sound Guardians," "Rain on Lake I'm Swimming In"). **