Lightning Bolt
Hypermagic Mountain



by Hep Kat USER (124 Reviews)
April 18th, 2006 | 72 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

I’ve always been a fan of obscure music. Mostly just because I love to pop CDs from odd bands into my stereo, and then turn the volume up to the highest setting. Well, I suppose that means my real passion is giving my neighbors heart attacks. Needless to say, while I was researching Lightning Bolt. I became very interested (excited, even) over the way they looked. I mean, their music just seemed to scream “acid trip” to me. Well, for the most part, I was right. Hypermagic Mountain is certainly a curious album. Maybe I‘m way off base, but “noise rock” might just be a little too out there, even for me.

Hypermagic Mountain begins and ends with what you’d expect a noise rock album to begin and end with: noise. Heavy (see: dirty) guitar lines and pounding drums combine into a fever dream experience that’s going to make you scratch your head in wonderment while you listen. Combine this with the inaudible background noise that passes for the vocals, and you’ve certainly bombarded your ears with the musical equivalent of a seizure. Maybe I’m just too harsh on this album, but I really can’t find anything overly positive about it. Sure, it’s creative (to a point) and it’ll challenge you to actually listen and pay attention to it, but I really just think it is what it’s trying to be: a dirty mess of noises piled on top of more noises.

Just about every song on Hypermagic Mountain sounds the same to me. It’s basically just a blend of heavy this and loud that. Bland and boring, Hypermagic Mountain does little to captivate you. Furthermore, it’s just hard and un-enjoyable to listen to.(I couldn’t stomach listening to more than two or three songs at a time). I mean, if you can listen to this for easy listening, then my hat’s off to you. Heck, we can even forget I had a hat, if that’s the case.

Hypermagic Mountain begins with “2Morro Morro Land.” The high point of this song is the intro. It at least (falsely) eludes to the possibility that you may have fun while listening to this album. The next three songs, “Captain Caveman,” “Birdy,” and “Ring Wraiths,” don’t do much to impress. While they’re all unique in their own special (see: inane) way, I just can’t see how they flesh out the first quarter of the album.

The next song, “Mega Ghost,” I suppose is the best on the album. Much slower to the start than its predecessors, “Ghost” is actually fairly tolerable. A haunting intro leads into some trippy (and slightly lighter, at least when compared to the rest of the album) guitar work. The song degenerates into a state of pure chaos, but I still the most “listenable” track on the album.

“Magic Mountain,” is loud, fast and arbitrarily pitched (big surprise). Again, this track is slightly easier to put up with, at least due in part to the “rising and falling,” theme it takes (if that is such a thing, then that aptly describes it). “Dead Cowboy,” has an interesting intro (well, it’s something that I wouldn’t mind playing), but the song quickly falls apart into another annoying mesh of sounds. However, this track has the most coherent vocals on the album. I mean, you can almost understand the lyrics!

“Bizzaro Zarro Land,” also features impressive guitar work (in the intro at least). The song picks up into a higher, as well as less dirty type of noise when compared to the rest of the album. This is one of the more notable tracks (meaning it probably won’t give you a headache immediately). “Mohawk Windmill,” has a cool name. It’s actually a fairly epic type of noise. I guess if you took some sort of metal song, and made it sound filthy, this is what you would get.

“Bizzaro Bike,” has nice, heavy drumming, and a marginally impressive guitar solo. Otherwise, there’s not much to say about this song. It’s more of the same. I mean, you may even swear you already heard this song. It’s as if Lightning Bolt slapped a new name on it.

“Infinity Farm” is a radical change for this album. It’s more of less a filler, or a very long intro for the final song, “No Rest for the Obsessed.” I mean, it’s relatively quiet, and it probably won’t make your ears beg for waxy buildup. This all changes however in “No Rest for the Obsessed.” Now I swear, more than anything else on this album, this song is something we’ve already heard. I’ll be damned if it doesn’t sound exactly like two or three of the songs that came before it. Oh well, that just means that it’s (unfortunately) just as bad as they are.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you readers: I know nothing about this genre of music. Therefore, I found it hard for me to justify my rating. Maybe I’m just a little too harsh, but I can’t really see how an album of nearly identical songs can seriously be passed of in this manner. I really can’t recommend it to anyone, but as long as it has fans, there must be something to it. Lightning Bolt seems to have proven that if music was a hallucinogen, Hypermagic Mountain would be it’s purest incarnation.

All I know is that my neighbors are safe from this one.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
April 18th 2006


I give you credit for listening to it, though it really seems to me like you're just on the edge of getting it but it just doesn't hold your interest. That's perfectly understandable, considering I do that with a lot of music.

April 18th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Lightning Bolt is ridiculously melodic.

The correct complaint would be I don't enjoy my music repeating, because there's alot of this in LB.

I would've suggested listening to the album for a few more days to let it sink in but whatever.

Also. There is no guitar on this entire album it's all bass n' drums.This Message Edited On 04.18.06

April 18th 2006


Good work on the review, but I think you could have given this a little more time before jumping into the review.
I've never heard of this, but it sounds mildly entertaining.

Sgt Pilcher
April 18th 2006


From what I heard, the bassist tunes his bass like a cello is and his top string is from a banjo. Then he runs that through about 7 pedals. So that would make for an interesting sound.

Tangy zizzle
April 19th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Lightning Bolt are truth.

You are lies.

April 19th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album. A lot.

April 19th 2006


I like Wonderful Rainbow. I get too much of a headache from this.

May 13th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

this album could be so much better..

June 3rd 2006


The musicianship on this album is amazing

September 30th 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

This album has some good musicianship. The drums are frantic and the bass is simply stunning. But it'd be a lot better if it was more concise and less repetitous.

January 16th 2007


I just got this today and don't know what to think. Bizarro Bike is really cool but everything else just kind of sounds the same. I've heard some stuff off of Wonderful Rainbow and it's great stuff, maybe I'm just to big of a puss to listen to a Lightning Bolt album all the way through.

January 17th 2007


wonderful rainbow is a lot better than this. get that.

The Jungler
January 17th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

maybe I'm just to big of a puss to listen to a Lightning Bolt album all the way through.
I think I'm the same way.

The album I've heard the most off of is this one I think.

May 2nd 2007


Lightning Bolt should open for Fantomas.

that would be a good time.

May 2nd 2007


Lightning Bolt should open for Fantomas.

that would be a good time.

May 7th 2007


It's grown on me.

September 16th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

Don't just listen to it once or twice; allow it some time to grow on you. i agree it can get repetitive but it's still interesting if you sit down and listen to it and appreciate it for what it is.

i love mohawk windmill.

September 16th 2007


This album needs a new review. Hep Kat is an idiot.

September 16th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

You're review says that you don't like it, but not that its bad.

October 12th 2008


Album Rating: 1.0

well isn't an album's worth measured by aesthetic satisfaction?

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