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Lightning Dust


Acid folk or acid country (now there’s a new term!), east Vancouver’s LIGHTNING DUST stretched their musical barriers beyond the confines of Joshua Wells and gothic singer Amber Webber’s main “space-rock” venture BLACK MOUNTAIN.
Recorded in a dank cave and a finished off in a bright blue house, their simplistic minimalist approach found favour on their eponymous set LIGHTNING DUST (2007) {*7}; the short, sharp and upbeat `Wind Me Up’ (a radio hit in Canada) was a diversion from the lo-fi GRACE SLICK/DAVID SURKAMP-esque `Listened On’ and `Take Me Back’; `Jump In’ was very CAVE ’n’ KYLIE, Amber’s vibrato vox the bees knees. Just as trippy in a HAZLEWOOD-Sinatra kind of way, sophomore set INFINITE LIGHT (2009) {*7} picked up where its predecessor left off, although the un-folk of `I Knew’ and the lilting country of `Antonia June’ were hardly folk music – acid-folk at a push. Incidentally, Amber is the twin sister of Ashley Webber, former bass player with Canadian indie outfit The Organ.
Evoking an ethereal sound not unlike STEVIE NICKS or SINEAD O’CONNOR, Amber Webber and her trusty side-kick Joshua Wells put aside their main act to support LIGHTNING DUST’s third set, FANTASY (2013) {*7}. And with an uneven spacey beat not unlike SUICIDE, the duo’s ghostly minimal synth swathes were most effective on `Diamond’ (complete with video), `Agatha’, `Mirror’, `Loaded Gun’ and anchor piece, `Never Again’.
A couple of head-spinning BLACK MOUNTAIN sets (2016’s `IV’ and 2019’s `Destroyer’) prayed at the temple of the hard-rock/psych gods prior to the ‘Dust settling for SPECTRE (2019) {*7}. Boasting three download previews, `Devoted To’, `A Pretty Picture’ and `Led Astray’, the duo had come a long way in their path toward electro-experimental excellence; pity then their projected support tour of PURPLE MOUNTAINS was tragically curtailed with the death of David Berman. Of the set itself, further Amber comparisons were mooted by way of BAT FOR LASHES, CAT POWER and BETH GIBBONS.
© MC Strong 2011/GFD2 // rev-up MCS Apr2015-Oct2019

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