REVIEW: Lightning Bolt’s “Fantasy Empire”

Lightning Bolt photo LightningBolt_cover_zps2h1zcho0.jpg To say I was anxiously waiting for this album to be released would be putting it mildly and lightly. When Lightning Bolt create something new, I want to concentrate with all nine of my ears. There was a bit of a worry that Fantasy Empire would’ve sounded more polished, the songs would be more mainstream in how they were put together, and you would be able to hear drummer Brian “Black PUs” Chippendale sound in the same way Virgin Records made a cleaner mix of “American Woman” so you could hear a much more crisp Lenny Kravitz. Did it happen? Oh hell no.

He and bassist Brian Gibson remain as twisted and distorted as they’ve always been but as far as the construction of the compositions is concerned? Well, I’m not sure if other writers speak about Lightning Bolt and even bring up the word composition but what changed my view of their music was when Black Pus released his Primordial Pus album in 2011 and closed it with “I’ll Come When I Can”. I said it then and I’ll say it again, it’s the kind of song that I wish more people would cover so that the meaning of the song would be interpreted differently but still retain its definition. It made me listen to Lightning Bolt in a different light, for while it can be close to impossible to understand the lyrics without a lyric sheet, other times you can figure it out or read a song transcription elsewhere and go “I see, it may be twisted but there’s a lot more than that”. Gibson’s distorted bass can sound like a guitar and bass at the same time and other times you have no idea what kind of sounds he’s making. Is it a security signal or is it something he found at a pawn shop and decided to test it on the spot until it chokes? Yes, and more.

On the surface, just listening to Fantasy Empire and hear songs with a kind of spastic energy that will make you wan tto drive a car on a highway and jump out of the window. You may say that there’s a nice punk rock overtone or it’s just a ridiculous extension of 80’s metal. Imagine jamming in a basement and simply wanting to feel the space of electricity, but then knowing it’s a holiday weekend, you blast the amps until the police come over and playing loudly so that the officers will melt in front of your eyes. That’s Lightning Bolt in a sentence or two, and they are easily the best at what they do. “King Of My World” skips around with different tempo textures so that you are unable to dance in one way at any given time, but why should you? Are Lightning Bolt a dance band? Maybe, in a mixed-up world. Then again, we are in a mixed-up world, aren’t we? It’s wonderful to welcome yourself in the double Brian empire and get caught up in the beautiful ugliness they make. Sometimes it makes me wonder why more people have not become Lightning Bolt believers but hey, it’s more for me to enjoy.


FREE MP3 DL: Black Pus’ “Blood Will Run”

If you caught the recent EVIL compilation, you will have heard not only a new song by Black Pus, but also a slightly new phase for the way he presents his music. He has done it again in “Blood Will Run” that will be part of a forthcoming split album with Oozing Wound on Thrill Jockey, which you can pre-order by traveling to this website.

LYRIC VIDEO: clipping. featuring Coccc Pistol Cree’s “Work Work”

Bitch, do you know who this is? This is clipping. and from their forthcoming second album, their first for Sub Pop, is a track they put together with Cocc Pistol Cree called “Work Work”. I generally don’t like lyric videos, since there is an overwhelming amount of them in circulation but this is clipping. so I figured hey, it’s a chance to share their song so I’ll post it. No harm done.

The album is called CLPPNG and it will be released on June 10th. If you pre-order a copy from Sub Pop, you will get a bonus 45 with “Ends” on the A_side and a non-LP track called “Brian”, which features good ol’ Brian “Black Pus” Chippendale of Brian “Black Pus” Chippendale fame. Vinyl and CD pressings can be pre-ordered here, while a vinyl or CD bundle with T-shirt can be pre-ordered there.

clipping. are ready for SXSW duties this week, and will be ready to play the Sasquatch Music Festival in July:
March 12… Austin, TX (SXSW / Hotel Vegas (Volstead Inside) / Inland Empire Touring Day Party) (3:30pm)
March 14… Austin, TX (SXSW / The Owl of Austin / PORTALS Day party) (2pm)
March 15… Austin, TX (SXSW / 512 (Downstairs) / Official SXSW Showcase) (10:15pm)
March 18… Scottsdale, AZ (The Western)
March 22… Los Angeles, CA (The Church on York)
April 26… Leizpig, DE (Conne Island)
April 27… Cologne, DE (Baustelle Kalk)
April 29… Nurnberg, DE (K4)
April 30… Krems an der Donau, AT (Donaufestival)
May 16… Flushing, NY (Knockdown Center) (Red Bull Academy Extreme Music Mini Fest)
June 13… Barcelona, ES (Sonar)
July 4… George, WA (Sasquatch)

AUDIO: Lightning Bolt’s “Barbarian Boy”

Lightning Bolt photo LightningBoltBB_cover_zps9f5972d9.jpg
The cover art either represents a squid, an eyeball beast, a vaginal tribe, or an attendee at the next big music festival. In this case, it represents the new song by Lightning Bolt calleed “Barbarian Boy”, which means if this is the outfit of a barbarian boy, he has an eyeball squid vagina laminate or something. The song is the duo’s entry into the Adult Swim series of songs, which means if you watch their programming, you’ll catch this song in between breaks. Let its majestic volume burn in your skull.

VIDEO: Black Pus In His Hilarious Attic

Ever wondered what Brian Chippendale does in his spare time? Maybe not, but you are able to get a brief look at his gear set-up, which looks as messy as fuck but that’s besides the point. You’ll be able to see some close-up shots of things you may have only seen glimpses of on live YouTube videos, but check out that John Bonham-style foot action. Also look at the trippy mannequin. Whatever you choose to look at during this quick jam session with himself, please remember that the presentation was shot by Peter Glantz.

REVIEW: Black Pus’ “All My Relations”

Black Pus photo BlackPusAMR_cover_zps514d121e.jpg With Brian Chippendale’s last album as Black Pus, I had stated that he ended it on what I felt was a reflective note, a song that could easily be covered and turned into a pop song, ballad, or even something on the level of easy listening. These were not jokes or means of sarcasm, I was being genuine. As is the case with everything he does creatively, Black Pus is being his genuine self once again, this time releasing All My Relations on a new label (Thrill Jockey).

If there’s anything different about this album, it’s that Chippendale has incorporated a bit of overdubbing. While he has no problem with playing drums, using effects, and singing at the same time, I get a sense that he’s trying to open up the sound of his music, while retaining that raw, dangerous, basement-quality vibe he is known for. The vocals are almost unintelligible but if there’s a song that may come close to what he shared in “I’ll Come When I Can”, it may be “Fly On The Wall”. However, I can also safely say that I may be completely wrong in this assumption.

As always, the energy created in these songs are insane. The Black Pus mask/persona sounds like that of a man completely wound up but unwinding himself on his drum kit and microphone headpiece, singing/screaming/moaning through distortion, reverb, echoes, and delays as if he was about to be executed and these were his last songs. At the same time, when I hear his drumming at times I’m reminded a bit of guys like Charlie Benante, Bill Ward, Elvin Jones, and Buddy Rich, especially when the songs get into distorted minimalism, transforming into deafening drones that are incredible to hear. The best use of overdubs and multi-track recording would have to be “All Out Of Sorts”, which twists his vocals into unusual shapes and colors as it leads to the song’s final minute, which I had described on Twitter as the sound of something that made me want to pull up a flap and make me want to eat my face. I also love the chopping of sounds in “Hear No Evil”, as if he found something in the song he liked and wanted to play around with it a bit. The album’s closer, “A Better Man”, could easily be compared to the noisy moments of Nirvana’s “Endless, Nameless”, but made noisier and more insane.

Once you get locked into what Chippendale does with his music, either you’re completely confused or you end up anticipating what he will offer in the future. I’ve fortunately become the latter. Each release has a general sense of controlled insanity, and there is always something new added into these pieces that keeps me wanting to hear it more intently than before. Listen to All My Relations for its brutal volume, then listen to it for its psychotic brilliance.

VIDEO: Black Pus’ “Play God”

When Black Pus makes music, fans listen. In this case, a fan by the YouTube user name of llC4ll decided to make a video for the track “Play God” from the Pus Mortem album. This is the end result.

VIDEO: Black Pus’ “Why Must It End?”/”Meet Me In That Other Place” (2-for-1)

From his Pus Mortem album, Black Pus decided to create a video for two songs from it and now you can see it here. It’s for the songs “Why Must It End?” and “Meet Me In That Other Place”, as Brian Chippendale goes to and from Providence, Rhode Island and shows what he sees (or at least what he’s willing to capture with camera). BTW: you can opt to watch the video in hi-def as well, so select it to see its fullness.

AUDIO: Lightning Bolt’s “King Candy”

Lightning Bolt are currently on tour not to support anything, but just because they fricken feel like it, so catch them if you can. What you’ll also want to catch is the duo’s forthcoming EP on Load called Oblivion Hunter. While not exactly a “new” new album, it is a collection of various things the band have done over the years, pieced together so that one can listen to this and go “oh cool, new Lightning Bolt”. September 25th is the release date for it, exactly a month after I post this and you can hear one of the seven tracks for the album, called “King Candy”.