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Lightning Bolt - Sonic Citadel

Its hard to imagine anything more triumphant as a festival closer than a set by Lightning Bolt – and that’s what we experienced at the last year’s Big Ears. Amidst all the thrashing I overhead a snippet of something painfully familiar and eventually recognized the said snippet as  Static by Jawbox (who, ironically, reunited themselves the following year).

That fascination with heroes of post-punk/hardcore (sung and unsung alike) continues unabated on “Husker Don’t”, third single off of upcoming Sonic Citadel LP. Its not a cover and its not tribute in a conventional sense, but also feels like more than just a clever play on the name of a burly trio out of Minneapolis, MN.

Kicking in with a force of a sledgehammer it sounds very much like old LB, but there’s also a central riff that wouldn’t sound out of place of mid-80s Husker Du record. The vocals, while not entirely clear, appear to be more decipherable than those on LB’s earlier efforts and while Brian Chippendale’s vocals are not exactly a dead ringer for Bob Mould you can still hear a modicum of similarity between the two.

For my money its “Air Condition”, second single off of Sonic Citadel, that comes closest to sounding like Husker Du with its punk/hardcore vibe and smidgen of psychedelia. With that said, if you love HD you can’t go wrong with any songs off the record, because in a way it recreates that same speedy madness that permeated the MN trio’s best work, all without coming off as a mere clone of theirs.

Sonic Citadel is out on Oct. 11 via Thrill Jockey


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