Under Review

Lightning Dust/Hard Drugs

Split Seven-Inch


by Sarah Berman

Lightning Drugs and Hard Drugs - Split Seven-Inch_cover
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 offer up a lighthearted counterpoint to Lightning Dust’s drama. “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. Late 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.