Albums to watch

Fantasy Empire

Lightning Bolt

Fantasy Empire

Sixth album from the Rhode Island noise rock duo

ADM rating[?]


Thrill Jockey
UK Release date
US Release date
  1. 10.0 |   The Arts Desk

    Distorted bass, hyperactive drums and fuzzy, lo-fi vocals come together in a whirlwind of relentless hardcore punk with enough weirdness thrown in to make them truly individual
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  2. 9.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    Approach with giddy trepidation
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  3. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Fantastical and empiricist take on their trademark noise rock sound
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  4. 9.0 |   Exclaim

    Auditory annihilation never sounded so good
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  5. 9.0 |   All Music

    Getting to hear the band in a fuller spectrum of sound uncovers technical precision and nonstop intensity that were buried on previous efforts
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  6. 8.3 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Will reward longtime listeners and draw in new fans simultaneously, a heady accomplishment for a couple of dudes bashing away at their instruments
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  7. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    An ear-splitting delight
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  8. 8.0 |   musicOMH

    Lightning Bolt are still pushing at the edges, and are still exploring their own dynamics, it’s just this time around, it’s possible to hear every thrilling nuance
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  9. 8.0 |   Pitchfork

    They're still doing what they've always done, but Fantasy Empire is the best they've done it in a long time, and the new sheen makes everything seem magic again
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  10. 8.0 |   NME

    Lightning Bolt’s aim remains simple: to batter you into ecstatic submission
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  11. 8.0 |   God Is In The TV

    At its best, Fantasy Empire is a joyously destructive LP, which will dent eardrums and rattle fillings loose, in the best possible way
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  12. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    A record with raw power at the heart of the beast
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  13. 8.0 |   Uncut

    Thrillingly primal and intuitive, with laser-cut drum patterns and hammered riffs. Print edition only

  14. 8.0 |   The 405

    Whilst their spontaneity may have been tempered by their new ways of recording, their intensity and creativity remains very much intact
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  15. 7.7 |   Earbuddy

    It may not reach the heights of their seminal, mid-2000s work, but you’d be lying to call this a disappointment
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  16. 7.5 |   Crack

    Deadly in a way only Lightning Bolt could muster
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  17. 7.0 |   Spin

    Unlike the tinny wash of their earlier albums, Fantasy Empire never makes you feel like you're lost
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  18. 7.0 |   No Ripcord

    It is a tad disappointing that the band’s venture out of their comfort zone didn’t yield more sounds and songs that reflected this
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  19. 6.0 |   PopMatters

    This is a Lightning Bolt album, and if that is what you are looking for, you will not be disappointed
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