Lightning Bolt | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Lightning Bolt 

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It's hard to believe just two guys can make this much noise. Bassist Brian Gibson stands in front of a precarious wall of amps, playing like he's got ten extra fingers, while drummer Brian Chippendale tries to hammer his drums into the floor and emits occasional melodic nonsense through a microphone hidden inside his raggedy mask. (Sometimes when he squawks, Gibson imitates his noises, temporarily warping the composition at hand into a nervous, comical call-and-response routine.) After the initial shock of their oppressive volume subsides, it's easier to pay attention to the structure: jump-rope jingles explode into blustery anthems, the urgency of which has compelled more than a few audience members to headbang till whiplash. The duo--part of the same scene in Providence, Rhode Island, that produced Arab on Radar--have released a string of recordings so lo-fi that it's almost impossible to discern the purpose behind the chaos, but on their latest full-length, Ride the Skies (Load), they seem to have found a clear channel to the outside world. Saturday, July 7, 9 PM, Fireside Bowl, 2646 W. Fullerton; 773-486-2700.


Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Liz Armstrong.


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