I like to think Lightning Born’s self-titled debut album as a female-fronted answer to The Obsessed. The Raleigh-based group’s dynamic isn’t quite as loose as the rhythm section are prone to setting up more intricate foundations, but the guitars have a similar off-the-cuff riff delivery. There’s a bright desert vibe that can be felt throughout, the pacing is easygoing, and the vocals add a smoothly sultry overcast to the proceedings.
Of course, the band finds ways to mix up this formula. “You Have Been Warned” leans heavily on 70s influences, putting in a somewhat hazier tone with alternating swings and rhythmic flurries that remind me of Cream or early Pentagram. “Salvation” follows it up with a more active shuffle in the vein of Thin Lizzy or old school KISS, “Out for Blood” brings some attitude to its more straightforward boogie, and “Godless” closes things out with the slowest, most atmospheric riff set.
And with a lineup featuring members of such groups as Demon Eye and Corrosion of Conformity, the tight musicianship isn’t too surprising. The vocals are the most striking element, serving up an echoey tinge but with enough power to keep from getting overwhelmed. The guitars drive the songs in a confident but casual fashion, the bass can be felt without getting too flashy, and the drums throw in plenty of neat patterns. I doubt the opening beat on “Magnetic” was an intentional Captain Beyond homage, but it’s pretty cool either way.
Overall, Lightning Born’s debut album provides a pleasantly solid take on a well-worn biker doom formula. The songwriting doesn’t yield the most mind-blowing results, but the individual tracks are well constructed, and the lively performances keep it from slipping into average fare. Fans of the style should consider this an enjoyable addition to their playlist alongside their contemporaries in High Reeper, The Riven, The Lucid Furs, or Youngblood Supercult.
“You Have Been Warned”
“Out for Blood”