REVIEW: Lightning Bolt’s “Fantasy Empire”

Lightning Bolt photo LightningBolt_cover_zps2h1zcho0.jpg To say I was anxiously waiting for this album to be released would be putting it mildly and lightly. When Lightning Bolt create something new, I want to concentrate with all nine of my ears. There was a bit of a worry that Fantasy Empire would’ve sounded more polished, the songs would be more mainstream in how they were put together, and you would be able to hear drummer Brian “Black PUs” Chippendale sound in the same way Virgin Records made a cleaner mix of “American Woman” so you could hear a much more crisp Lenny Kravitz. Did it happen? Oh hell no.

He and bassist Brian Gibson remain as twisted and distorted as they’ve always been but as far as the construction of the compositions is concerned? Well, I’m not sure if other writers speak about Lightning Bolt and even bring up the word composition but what changed my view of their music was when Black Pus released his Primordial Pus album in 2011 and closed it with “I’ll Come When I Can”. I said it then and I’ll say it again, it’s the kind of song that I wish more people would cover so that the meaning of the song would be interpreted differently but still retain its definition. It made me listen to Lightning Bolt in a different light, for while it can be close to impossible to understand the lyrics without a lyric sheet, other times you can figure it out or read a song transcription elsewhere and go “I see, it may be twisted but there’s a lot more than that”. Gibson’s distorted bass can sound like a guitar and bass at the same time and other times you have no idea what kind of sounds he’s making. Is it a security signal or is it something he found at a pawn shop and decided to test it on the spot until it chokes? Yes, and more.

On the surface, just listening to Fantasy Empire and hear songs with a kind of spastic energy that will make you wan tto drive a car on a highway and jump out of the window. You may say that there’s a nice punk rock overtone or it’s just a ridiculous extension of 80’s metal. Imagine jamming in a basement and simply wanting to feel the space of electricity, but then knowing it’s a holiday weekend, you blast the amps until the police come over and playing loudly so that the officers will melt in front of your eyes. That’s Lightning Bolt in a sentence or two, and they are easily the best at what they do. “King Of My World” skips around with different tempo textures so that you are unable to dance in one way at any given time, but why should you? Are Lightning Bolt a dance band? Maybe, in a mixed-up world. Then again, we are in a mixed-up world, aren’t we? It’s wonderful to welcome yourself in the double Brian empire and get caught up in the beautiful ugliness they make. Sometimes it makes me wonder why more people have not become Lightning Bolt believers but hey, it’s more for me to enjoy.

REVIEW: Action Bronson’s “Mr. Wonderful”

Action Bronson photo ActionBronson_cover_zpsr0qa3ls9.jpg Action Bronson is back with a new one called Mr. Wonderful (Vice/Atlantic) but is he wonderful? He is very much that, and he is better than a lot of rappers getting attention these days for being good but the different is that A.B. has skills, great lyrics, and a flow that has made people compared him to this generation’s Ghostface Killah. I think what people love is the passion that is heard in these flows and with a sense of humor that is upfront, Action Bronson is not hiding behind any curtains. When he’s serious, he will let you know directly and make you a true believer. When he wants to crack a joke, he’ll do so like a comedian where his path is designed to pull you in and make you bust out in laughter. Tracks like “The Rising”, “Terry”, “City Boy Blues”, and “Galactic Love” make me, hell, make us wish everyone was still doing hip-hop in this manner, where the samples (or nice interpolations of it) make you want to dig for more records just to find the most obscure grooves. The construction of this album is not boring or lackluster, everything that is needed to make a hip-hop shine nicely is here. This is easily one of the best albums of 2015, of any genre.

REVIEW: I Am The Albatross’ “Lonesome Son”

 photo IAmTheAlbatross_cover_zpsjisw0vrx.jpg I Am The Albatross make some pretty risky rock’n’roll and in 2015, that’s a good, if not necessary, thing to do. Lonesome Son play something that would borderline on the Americana-side of things, or at least if you were to go to a Wilco show, you may very well see I Am The Albatross open up during a leg. What I love is the grit mixed in with the nice delicacies, or perhaps it’s the intricacies of what they do, a nice pop touch that isn’t afraid to intercourse with a bit of distortion and warble power to have the stories come through stronger that they may have in its original state. A song like “World Of Money” goes in a simple acoustic manner but as is, it’s a song you may imagine being a bit more fierce but it’s very nice as is. Lonesome Son is something that may influence a younger generation to want to start their own bands but I think for the time being, immerse yourself in these songs and see where their paths will pull listeners and forthcoming new fans.

AUDIO: Fran Lobo’s “Back Again”

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Singer Fran Lobo is dropping an EP on the 6th of July and she says she is “Back Again”. However, if you’ve never heard of her before and don’t know where she had to go in order to come back, get to know her by listening to this, a song from Beautiful Blood.

VIDEO: Norman BA$E’s “SPLASH!”

The video only lasts for 110 seconds but “Splash!” (listed as “SPLASH!”) will get in your face and not be allowed to get a napkin to make yourself dry. He goes by the name of Norman BA$E, in you face and it is not a disgrace to enjoy it and let everyone know you’re a fan. It’s only a verse and yes, he does curse so go ahead, enjoy this deeply and disperse.

BOOK’S FOODIE: Adoboloco Pineapple hot sauce (review)

Adoboloco Pineapple photo AboboPineapple_label_zpsisisogy1.jpg For years, I’ve been wanting to try a hot sauce from Hawai’i called Adoboloco. I loved the name because it’s known that Filipinos love their chicken, especially their own chicken adobo. Nonetheless, I’ve been wanting to try one but never had the opportunity to order them, plus I didn’t get any as a free gift. However, a good friend from Oahu was nice enough to send me one and I had my first taste of Adoboloco and this was their pineapple variation.

I have been enjoying hot sauces with different fruits so I wasn’t sure how a pineapple hot sauce would be. I had read they use actual pineapples for this, not an extract or anything artificial so it was great that I had been given this. I tried it and woooo… this bugga is hot. I should say that on the meter on the Adoboloco bottle, it is listed as being between “Small Kine Spicy” and “Da Kine Stay Hot” so I at least knew (and hoped) it would be something I could handle. It is, but the heat kicks in immediately. It uses habanero peppers and also has apple cider vibera, sea salt, and garlic, but doesn’t taste too salty at all. I would say this fits in with any meal but if you’re someone that likes a lot of stews with pork, or savory dishes that feature pineapple, adding this will be a major plus. The pineapple flavor is very upfront but it is not overwhelming, it balances well with the peppers and in the end, I probably finished the bottle in about two days. I want to try this again but I would like to try Adoboloco’s other flavors too. In time.

To find out more about the company, head to Their pineapple hot sauce can also be ordered directly from the company.