Posts Tagged ‘Brian Chippendale’

Lightning Bolt, Liturgy, May 3, 2015 @ Echoplex

May 6, 2015

After seeing Dan Deacon get the crowd moving at the Echoplex on Friday, I was back to the same venue to see Lightning Bolt do the same thing. Though the way the bands do it and the way people move is quite different.

I missed the first opener, but got there in time to see Liturgy, a metal band that I’d throw into the “doom/black” variety of metal. There was appropriate riffage and the drummer specialized in high speed bass drum kicks that  led the charge on many of their songs. Lyrics kind of got lost in the noise; the lead singer was soft spoken and didn’t say much beyond announcing the name of the band and a perfunctory thanks when they finished their set.  Their new album was supposed to incorporate some elements not found in the genre, like bells, and sure enough there was one song that featured some prerecorded glockenspiel. It worked for me, the bells were a nice contrast to the dark and heavy guitar and drumming.  The crowd seemed to be into it, with a few enthusiastic young guys flipping the bird at the stage in unison with the music. I guess that’s a sign of respect in this genre? I’m out of my element on that one.

Following a short break it was time for the main attraction, Rhode Island’s Lightning Bolt.  I saw them about 5 years ago and my review gives you a good idea what I saw here in LA.  One difference was that Brian Chippendale was much more talkative.  He greeted the enthusiastic crowd and told a story of how they almost didn’t make it to LA from Oakland when he wanted to pull into a gas station to get a juice and didn’t notice the median and curb and launched their van airborne, over the median, and made it back to asphalt without breaking an axle.  The punchline: the gas station was closed.

All the things I liked about seeing them before was on display again.  Chippendale is a human dynamo on the drums, which contrasts with the stoic Brian Gibson on bass.  One thing they both do is create a cacophony that still finds its way to lock into a groove.  And then pummel that groove to death.  Their new album, Fantasy Empire, has been touted as having more of a metal bent.  A good bit of the set was that new material and there was a lively mosh pit and a lot of headbashing.  I had secured a spot right by the soundboard, so I was safe.  While on record these new songs do sound a bit more “polished”, that polish is smeared all over the place during their live show.  There are waves of rhythm coming at you, and every so often, the wave recedes and allows one of them to breathe and let the other start building the next wave.

They came out for an encore with two ferocious takes on two old songs, Dracula Mountain and Ride the Sky.  The mosh pit reacted in kind and even in my “safe” spot we had a couple bodies come flying into us.  A great end to their set.

Here’s a decent video recapping the performances of both Liturgy and Lightning Bolt (LB starts at 3:04).  I didn’t see the first opener Baby Aspirin DVD (there’s a short bit of them in the video too).

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Give the Drummer(s) Some!

January 12, 2015
Brian Chippendale's drum kit.

Brian Chippendale’s drum kit.

Take two drummers from bands that don’t follow conventional rock standards, put them in a room together with two drum sets, say GO!, and you get this. Brian Chippendale from Lightning Bolt and Greg Saunier from Deerhoof put out a two track LP of the two playing as a drum duo. There is an accompanying documentary that gives some background on the two. I’ve seen Chippendale live and he’s a manically fast and attacking drummer. Saunier, from clips I’ve seen is equally as forceful but gets there in a more roundabout way with legs and arms moving like an octopuses tentacles.

Drum solos usually aren’t a means to an end, they are sandwiched between the bread of a rock song. That’s why this an interesting listen to me. They mess around with tempo, the individual drums in their kits that they either play in tandem, opposition or somewhere in between. They lock into grooves that then crumble around them and they start building again. I don’t know if the two tracks were recorded sequentially but the second seems a little more complete as a composition and maybe an easier intro for a listener.

I don’t think it’s something for everyone, but if you enjoy percussion or improvisational jazz, I think you should check it out.  You can stream both tracks at the link above.