One day as I was harvesting my grain, I looked up to the heavens and asked, 'God, is sheer musicality and technical prowess enough to make a good record?' To my surprise, God responded. His booming voice chimed in with a clear as day 'Fuck no.' Then from out of nowhere, Lightning Bolt's album, 'Wonderful Rainbow fell into my hands. While I will give them credit for having an admirable amount of talent, Lightning Bolt has failed to make something listenable. I expect at least minor amounts of accessibility in an album, Wonderful Rainbow offers little of that. The songs fail to set moods and accomplish little more than giving me a headache.
Lightning Bolt consists of a drummer and a bassist, and provides of flurry of electron dissonance. But don't expect music that you would think of when you hear "drum and bass", because this is a ride on a one way bus to India. Warning: there is nothing about the sound that reminds me of India. Sometimes the songs can get a little repetitious, but not as much as the previous album, Ride The Skies. In all honesty, I'd rather listen to Wonderful Rainbow than Ride the Skies in a 747 running on coffee and donuts. Major proppage for doing something very original and unique in such a time of conformity. The finger tapping on the bass (at least that's what I'm assuming it is) in "Crown Of Storms" institutes a raw sexuality, soon interrupted with blaring bass notes, that come out of LEFT field! A headache was provided by "30,000 Monkies", just like one would expect from 30,000 monkeys! Amazing. If possible, see this band live or dead (HAHAH!), but if that's not possible, check out this recording.
Wonderful Rainbow, Lightning Bolt's latest full length, is the much anticipated follow-up album to Ride the Skies that doesn't disappoint. When I listen to Lightning Bolt, whether it be live or on CD, I know that they're giving me their all and not having some message they're trying to get to the idiot public, as some bands seem to do (see: Anti-Flag) nor do they try to be "post-modern" in their music style (see: The Locust); they play music because that's what they do best.
Although their CDs are nothing in comparison to their live performances, I sincerely love their albums; especially Wonderful Rainbow. This album has similar traits to Ride the Skies: fast and creative drum beats by Brian C, a bass that sounds like a guitar vomiting feedback by Brian G and brilliant interaction between the two. The thing that I love about Lightning Bolt is how they work together; they're both on the same page with every song and neither Brian shines more than the other.
Lightning Bolt, however, is not consistent over every album. Their first album, Lightning Bolt, was overly extended - every song lasted too long and everything became repetitive. With Ride the Skies, Lightning Bolt realized the limits of music: how much is too much or not enough. Wonderful Rainbow reiterates this concept of limits, but has more melody. "On Fire", my favorite song on Wonderful Rainbow, starts off fast, and changes many times and the focus is less on percussions as it was on "Ride the Sky", my favorite song on Ride the Skies.
Overall, I give this album a nine out of ten because of their amazing duets, their creativity (which is hard with a two-piece band) and overall talent. This record exceeds the standards and sets new ones for comparable bands to follow.
For those that disagree, see them live. You may not want to, but you'll realize why so many people like them.
6.0 / 10
Reviewed by 3 writers.
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