Lightning Bolt The Power of Salad

The deranged brilliance of Lightning Bolt has finally been unleashed on The Power of Salad DVD. Musically, this two-piece (bass and drums) wrecking crew, who very well may be America's answer to the demented genius of Melt-Banana, ply an unorthodox conglomeration of complex noise, grindcore, avant-experimentation, free jazz, improvisation and whatever else strikes their fancy, all played insanely loud and on gear that looks like should have been put to pasture five years go. What The Power of Salad delivers is over an hour of live insanity culled from numerous shows on their 2001 U.S. tour, captured in all its raw and blemished glory, inter-cut with the occasional van chat, amp surgery, interview or police house show interruption. Despite the fact that it's a relatively lo-fi, minimal camera recording (they're rocking no more than three angles here), the sound quality is surprisingly strong, if not always on the verge of utter distortion. Make no mistake, it's still utter chaos, but a discernible one. And if the thought that a two-piece would be incredibly boring to watch (well, the bassist, Brian Gibson, just kind of stands there), the frantic," in need of Ritalin" spastic blur of drummer Brian Chippendale is entertainment enough. There are some extras, such as some cartoon animation set to Lightning Bolt's musical discourse, a poster gallery and a bizarre "last practice before tour," where there is as much discussion about how the camera makes the drummer feel uncomfortable as there is actual rehearsing, but none are great. Still, the point is the performances, not the extras, and The Power of Salad delivers. (Load, www.loadrecords.com)