“Do you like Lightning Bolt?” asks a foolish correspondent. No I do not like Lightning Bolt, they are a band. Only half a band mind you in that there’s only a drummer and a bassist, but a band nevertheless. They play gigs and they make records, in other words, and on those records are music, therefore I do not like them. But what’s this? “Hold on Tanya! Only a drummer and a bassist?” you are asking, “My goodness! That sounds exciting – Lightning Bolt are radically breaking rock down to its most primal components!” Well, yes reader they are, in the same way that the human stomach breaks food down into its most primal components – and what results is shit.
But Lightning Bolt’s uniquely pared-down line-up was not the result of a radical artistic breakthrough. Nor was it the result of the band members’ uncompromising musical vision and personal hygiene problems. The sad truth is that Lightning Bolt are not the smartest kids on the rock block. A pair of musicians on their uppers, they heard about a radical new music style that was sweeping the 1990s’ dancefloors. “This sounds like a piece of piss, this drum and bass stuff” said Mr Bolt to Mr Lightning, “We can’t go wrong! I’ll play the drum and you can play the bass and within a year we’ll be living like kings off the back of snowboarding adverts!” That was six long years ago, and still you can find Lightning Bolt trouping their drum and their bass through the backroads clubs of America, waiting patiently for the ‘edgy’ soft drink soundtrack commission that should by rights be theirs.