Call Me Lightning – The Trouble We’re In

4 out of 5

Label: Revelation Records

Produced by: Bill Skibbe, Pat Lilley (recorded by)

Call Me Lightning are still dropping albums, and are still rocking the funk out of massive, jagged slabs of funked-up rock-hard rock.  Is that stupidly descriptive enough?  There’s a theoretical limit to how many terms I can throw at this band in an attempt to capture their devil horns a’flingin’ brand of thumping punk-fused rock.  The Who reference of their name is indicative of some things: the unbelievably loud drum thump; the propulsive performance of vocalist Nathan Lilley and his throaty, creaky speak-sing; the unpredictablilty and yet catchiness to their tunes…  But CML is no throwback band.  Tur clatter they create is wholly their own, and something they’ve consistently brought to this table from this debit, on through the scattered albums they still occasionally deem us worthy to delineate to.  It’s okay, folks: quality is worth waiting for.

The only trouble, really, with Trouble We’re In, is that it might be a bit too infectious.  The energy of the handclap-beats and jittery guitar work and bouncing bass get a little nervy even at 35 minutes; by the time the group remembers to slow things down, we’re on the closing track, and they sound about as exhausted as our ears feel.  Besides this lame criticism (which is sort of like saying “stop being so passionate!), there’s admittedly a slight disconnect with the lyrics, which never quite get to a point that matches the impact of the delivery, but for the most part, the arena-filling production and raucous performance it captures distracts you from this until well after your hundredth trip through the album.

Otherwise, friends, gather your adjectives for one of the biggest rock experiences you’ll find.