Lightning Bolt
Wonderful Rainbow


3.5
great

Review

by Jared W. Dillon USER (118 Reviews)
July 25th, 2005 | 128 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


The Rhode Island School of Design must be one fucked up place. Graduating members include Seth MacFarlane creator of Family Guy, Gus Van Sant director of the movie Elephant a film based around a school shooting and the tour de force the ‘70s Alt. Rock collective the Talking Heads. While all of these members of the college were responsible for creating unique and challenging art, perhaps two men stand out from the rest of the RISD graduates; Brian Chippendale and Brian Gibson the founders and only two members of the noise rock group, Lightning Bolt.

Lightning Bolt originally had three members, the two Brians and vocalist Hisham Bharoocha. After Bharoocha left the group Chippendale took over on vocal duties. The group seemed to be on the edge of breaking up only releasing a few Eps and singles, until finally they released Ride the Skies which was met with much acclaim. But Wonderful Rainbow is the release that really put Lightning Bolt on the map of noise-rock.

Wonderful Rainbow starts off with a brief intro of seemingly peaceful noises. Lasting for little under a minute “Hello Morning" does not give any hints about what kind of music the listener has gotten themselves involved with. “Assassins" is probably Lightning Bolt’s most “catchy" song, it has a perfect balance between noise and melody that will be seen throughout the album but “Assassins" does not dive into any huge endless pits of white noise or distorted vocals. It’s a pretty straightforward song in Lightning Bolt terms. “Dracula Mountain" starts off with Chippendale on vocals, it seems as if he is trying to vocally imitate Gibson’s guitar noises which is actually pretty funny. One of the longer tracks on the album “Dracula Mountain" does get a tad repetitive until around 2:45 when it breaks into a vocal and high-end bass solo. With a tapping of a cymbal the song bursts into something completely different and extremely heavy. Imagine this as a breakdown from a hardcore song only translated into noise, it’s a brilliant interlude and gives this otherwise bland song a original twist. Working the interlude riff into all hell the song ends in a release of fury.

“Two Towers" is the longest track on the album, the only way to describe it’s sound is to say it sounds like a fight between Sesame Street and Silence of The Lambs. It has a bright happy melody that is often challenged with low notes from Gibson’s bass. The happy melody eventually melts away into the heaviness for about 2 minutes. Gibson and Chippendale turn their instruments into boxers and throw endless punches throughout the middle of this song. All are equally similar and all are as brutal as the last. Eventually in the middle Gibson breaks out of the mold and starts throwing some high notes into his riff and lifting the song out of the darkness it had fallen in, then everything speeds up and we return to the Elmo vs. Dr. Lecter routine.

“On Fire" is a more vocally centered song then the rest of the album and it’s one where Chippendale’s talents really show. His drumming is ferocious yet contained while Gibson is trying to re-enact some guitar solo he probably heard on a classical rock album. The end result is ridiculous but much different from the previous tracks. The interludes in the middle of the song are especially interesting, especially on Chippendale’s end. “On Fire" eventually breaks apart due to it’s own madness. “Crown of Storms" is the first chance we see some of Gibson’s ridiculous tapping skills, starting off with a beautiful melody that if not doused with so many effects could be seen in a jazz song. The song then descends into a heavy hitting bass drum bass exchange that is similar to the intro of “Take Me Out" by Franz Ferdinand. Eventually the tapping melody and this “bass drum duet" clash and meld into one part of the song. The end of “Crown of Storms" is my favorite conculsion on the album as it ends with a harmonic and lowend beauty that is hard to rival.

“Long Stockings" is the one throw away track on this album. While it’s interesting it just doesn’t rival the power and aggressiveness the rest of the album possesses and feels out of place. While it may just be Lightning Bolt trying to slow down the mood of the album it’s a filler track and in my opinion should’ve not been on the album. “Wonderful Rainbow" on the other hand is a slow song done right, it really shows that if Lightning Bolt wanted too they could create some pretty beautiful music, but it’s a short song and really is just a set up for the explosion of “30,000 Monkeys".

“30,000 Monkeys" is my personal favorite track, an mixture of off the wall jazz and making as much noise as possible it is a crazy, wild song that represents Lightning Bolt’s vision of music perfectly. When the song finally drifts out of the craziness at about 1:15 the song bursts into a bass solo by Gibson that is extremely technical. After the drums slowly build up the song once again descends into noise heaven.

The closer of Wonderful Rainbow is “Duel in the Deep" which to my knowledge is the first time Gibson uses the slapping technique on his bass. The rest of the song doesn’t really build up or anything, it’s just some random noodling. But the song ends in perfect feedback and Gibson once again returning to the slapping technique.

Wonderful Rainbow is the musical equilvent of a heavy night of drinking. It’s great while it lasts, but when it’s over you’ve got a splitting headache and you feel like you just got hit by a tractor-trailer. Lightning Bolt does away with everything relating to typical musical standards and creates an ear-splitting, bone-crushing, yet beautifully composed noise rock album.



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user ratings (340)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Happymeal
July 25th 2005


330 Comments


Sweet. What I've heard is technically challenging stuff, and it's really hard to listen to it through and through sometimes.

Little Man being Erased
July 25th 2005


87 Comments


Excellent review, sounds interesting.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
July 25th 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was actually going to do this on Sunday but I went with Architecture in Helsinki. Cool review pixies, this album is a 3.5 for me.

pixiesfanyo
July 25th 2005


1223 Comments


I had this review done for awhile, I've just been lazy.

So I'm glad you didn't

Zappa
July 25th 2005


355 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is an album that lost a lot of its luster when the shock value wore off. There's not much there to keep the listener interested once he or she gets past the initial amazement at how out there these guys are.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
July 25th 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like your internet impression of Lightning Bolt Alex. Do it again.



I had this review done for awhile, I've just been lazy.



So I'm glad you didn't




As am I :D

Zappa
July 25th 2005


355 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't remember what you're referring to, br3ad.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
July 25th 2005


2125 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

BANG



WHACK



ZING ZING



DUFF DUFF DUFF DUFF



WAHHHH!H!!





Or something like that.

Iai
Emeritus
July 25th 2005


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I remember that. :lol:

cbmartinez
July 27th 2005


2525 Comments


I've only heard a track or two by LB. Weird stuff. Great review.

Jawaharal
November 9th 2005


1832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didn't know this was reviewed. Good album

Jawaharal
November 25th 2005


1832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

two towers and 30,000 monkeys are the best on here.

Dancin' Man
November 25th 2005


719 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this. I'm suprised I hadn't noticed the review earlier.

Zesty Mordant
December 16th 2005


1196 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I guess you can say I don't "get" this band. I'm a square. It really sounds like noise. It's got some interesting parts but they sound more like a novelty.

h8pop
May 2nd 2006


30 Comments


excellent review boyo! i agree with the catchyness of assassins

masada
June 3rd 2006


2733 Comments


So I've gotten around to listening to the whole thing. Favorites are "Assassins" and "On Fire".

Cygnus Inter Anates
August 7th 2006


721 Comments


I can only take so much of this album before I go insane.

Zebra
Moderator
August 22nd 2006


2647 Comments


"Assassins" is complete insanity. This sounds really cool.

GenoahProject
September 6th 2006


11 Comments


i appreciate lightning bolt technically, and i tried very hard to get into them by request of a good friend of mine. I just cant do it. While assasins is a very good song, i find myself bored through most of the album.

ValiumMan
January 5th 2007


493 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I frickin' love this album! I have to be in the mood for it though. Assassins, Dracula Mountain and 2 Towers (did anyone notice it quotes the Star Wars soundtrack at the beginning) blow me away!



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