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REVIEW: Lightning Dust / Hard Drugs split 7″


Crafted by a pair of local boy/girl two-pieces, this split seven-inch pressed on white vinyl has a dark side and a goofy side—both of which may cause you to unwittingly sing in public.

First up is Lightning Dust, one of the many successful side projects spawned by hometown stoner-rockers Black Mountain. Amber Webber and Joshua Wells explore their ‘80s goth-pop side in the moody, half-whispered affirmation “Never Again.” With quiet beginnings, the track swells into several timpani and thunderclap-accompanied moments fit for a particularly tragic scene of a John Hughes flick.

Gone are the wailing guitar hooks more typical of their breadwinning band. Instead, listeners are treated to a clear and expansive gap between Webber’s subtle vibrato and the occasional arpeggiated synth solo.

Meanwhile, the husband/wife indie duo Hard Drugs offers up a lighthearted counterpoint to Lightning Dust’s drama. The track “Summertime Blues” boasts jangly guitar riffs, a country twang and an addictive set of “hey now”s.

With candid honesty, Jeffry Lee and Jenni Lee-Nelson build on the simple theme of good fun and good weather, skillfully incorporating a ‘60s era electric organ. Later in the song, the pair invite an extended family to the mic as they list off all the benefits of summer: “I skate / we camp / ride bikes / get rad / play ball / do shrooms!” Looking at Vancouver’s weather forecast, the tune presents an excellent argument for moving to southern California.

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