Friday Night Noise: Werewolf Jerusalem's Cruel Kidnapping; Lightning Bolt's Earthly Delights
Friday Night Noise wonders: is Mom to blame for our present-day fascination with/lust for noise musics? As a boy, Mom used hydrogen peroxide solution to loosen the wax in FNN's oft-clogged ear canals, and anybody who's been through that - sitting at a table, head on a folded towel, waiting patiently while this over-the-counter drug-store staple is carefully poured into the ear - is familiar with the seemingly infinite crackling, hissing sound the solution makes (as though a trillion wet, tiny explosions are happening just within earshot), with the chemical hint of warmth, with the slightly noxious odor that lasts all day, with the experience of having whatever's happening on an ambient level blotted out for a short period of time. It takes some getting used to, but ultimately a sore neck and a tingly ear are a small price to pay for the ability to hear better. Anyway, that's almost exactly what this Werewolf Jerusalem track sounds like, only without the whistling whine of Mom's tea kettle or the damning roar of her vacuum cleaner in the background. Thanks, Richard Ramirez! Who says you can't relive your childhood? Lightning Bolt "Rain on the Lake I'm Swimming In"
Wonderful Rainbow (Load, 2003), is (arguably) Lightning Bolt's crowning glory and Achilles' heel; so melodically spastic, so thunderously coherent, and so meathead noise-rock was this album, that everything the duo committed to tape prior and hence can't help but pale in comparison. And while FNN respects and lauds the pair's concerted, blister-inducing effort to steer its sound in a new, fuzzy direction with new slab Earthly Delights (Load) - the thrashing of old encased in a blurry glow, hooks rudimentary, everything still hitting harder than hell - he's left somewhat wanting. "Rain on the Lake I'm Swimming In," from Delights, is one of those rare Lightning Bolt oddities-cum-oases where singer/drummer Brian Chippendale and bassist Brian Gibson let up somewhat, giving the listener a chance to catch his/her breath or maybe spark up a doobie. Chippendale lays down his sticks and concentrates on nutty doot-doot-doots and dut-dut-duts over a sonic hammock of flanged, sun-glare guitar chords and what are likely additional Chippendale vocal trills sampled and processed beyond recognition. "Rain" comes across as something of a fugue, and given the shadowy bludgeoning that comprises the rest of the album - FNN isn't sold on all of it, but he's trying to give the record a chance to grow on him - it's a welcome relief. Got some hot Texas noise tips - or, hell, any noise tips - for FNN? Hit us up with MP3s or Web site links - but not MySpace links, seriously, because we can't access those at work and at home every spare moment is spoken for - at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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