Lightning Bolt (Noise Rock)

Who is Lightning Bolt?: Hailing from Providence, Rhode Island, Lightning Bolt is one of the loudest, most aggressive noise rock bands in America…and the band only consists of two people: Brian Chippendale and Brian Gibson. Chippendale drives the songs forward with warp-speed drumming and delay-soaked vocals (which are made possible by a custom microphone made out of an old telephone [strapped around his head]), while Gibson gives the songs color and personality with fuzzy, crushing bass lines.

To date, they have released seven albums. However, the Brians record everything (jams, practices, etc) on a 4 track for their own enjoyment. Apparently, they have an entire wall dedicated to these cassettes.

Their live performances are very memorable–thanks to the fact that they prefer to play on the floor instead of the stage (so the crowd can gather around them). Julianne Shepherd, of Pitchfork, claims in her review of their album Wonderful Rainbow (named best new album by the site) that “I rank Lightning Bolt in my top ten live experiences of all time…”

Interesting Fact: Speaking of live performances, Lightning Bolt are known for their ‘guerrilla gigs’ (shows played in unorthodox places–such as parking lots, alleys, etc)–which they have been putting on since they formed as a group in 1994. After gaining some popularity–enough to entice a good amount of people to show up at the small venues they were often booked at–they would often move their equipment outside so as to better accommodate the crowd (and also just cause a little anarchy). In an interview with The Wire, they recount a number of these instances. Obviously, most of them end with the police showing up.

Recommended Listening: “Dracula Mountain” off of Wonderful Rainbow. 


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