Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat
Rhode Islander noise rock duo Lightning Bolt have announced almost thirty shows across the US, promising to bring tons of “guerrilla gigs” to a city near you.
After over a decade and a half of fervent touring and recording, Lightning Bolt have decided to hit the road again for a 28-date tour through April and May. After kicking off in Buffalo, the tour will swing through large to mid-sized cities in the Midwest, then the band will make it’s way down the Pacific coast before heading back west. When they’re done with a few dates in the South, the band will head back up the Atlantic coast to complete their cross-country circuit.
The band is known for putting on wild, unconventional shows. Their performance style, like their music, is remarkably and admirably anti-establishment, often preferring to perform on the floors of venues rather than the main stage. The end result is that a small circle gathers around the band while everyone else slam dances and watches the mayhem unfold–very similar to a punk rock house show. In fact, the band is no stranger to the dingy basement or warehouse rent show, and are very likely to show up in such dives when not appearing at their main tour dates. Always, they bring as much originality, community and volume as they can regardless of the venue.
Sonically, the band borrows much from Japanese noise bands like Boredoms and Melt Banana, with Brian Gibson providing lead bass and Brian Chippendale playing drums while he screams into a makeshift microphone. Over-processing the bass and then feeding it into mountains of amplifiers, the sheer volume level alone will definitely make you notice. Throw in Chippendale’s violent drumming, incorporating sequenced synth drums triggered by his bare-bones live kit, and the results can get thunderously complex. But it’s his vocals, shouted into a (no joke) telephone receiver microphone circuit contained within a serial killer’s lucha mask then feed into a processor that is then feed into a (you guessed it) huge amplifier that might make the band most noticeable.
They are truly one of a kind.
The tour is in support of Fantasy Empire, the followup to 2012’s Oblivion Hunter. The new album is slated to come out via Thrill Jockey on March 24th of this year. Also to promote the album, the band has released the advanced single “Metal East”, which is every bit as thrilling and terrifying as the description of their music above.
Drummer Chippendale has been slightly more active recently, however, after teaming up with Deerhoof’s drummer Greg Saunier to release two improvised drum solos for the aptly titled “Brian Chippendale and Greg Saunier LP” released last December.
Fantasy Empire Spring 2015 Tour
Apr 15: Buffalo, NY – Mohawk Place
Apr 16: Columbus, OH – Double Happiness
Apr 17: Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
Apr 18: Ferndale, MI – The Loving Touch
Apr 19: Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle
Apr 20: Saint Paul, MN – Turf Club
Apr 21: St Louis, MO – The Luminary Center for the Arts
Apr 22: Lawrence, KS – Jackpot Music Hall
Apr 24: Denver, CO – GLOB
Apr 25: Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
Apr 27: Boise, ID – The Shredder
Apr 28: Seattle, WA – Neumos
Apr 29: Portland, OR – Dantes
May 01: San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
May 02: Oakland, CA – Leo’s
May 03: Los Angeles, CA – The Echoplex
May 04: Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room
May 05: San Diego, CA – Casbah
May 06: Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom (with Melt-Banana)
May 08: Austin, TX – Austin Psych Fest
May 09: New Orleans, LA – Siberia
May 10: Atlanta, GA – Mammal Gallery
May 11: Raleigh, NC – Kings
May 12: Washington, DC – ???
May 13: Baltimore, MD – Floristree
May 14: Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
May 15: Brooklyn, NY – The Wick
May 16: New York, NY – Le Poisson Rouge