Review: B O L T - ( 0 3 )

B O L T - ( 0 3 )There’s a malevolent intent to the forward motion of B O L T. Each chord comes creeping out of the wake of the last, bass guitars plucking grimly like the next part of the scab unsticking as it’s peeled away. ( 0 3 ) may be divided into smaller parts, but the band’s objective never changes or wavers – they unpick themselves until bone starts to surface, turning slowly and deliberately between chords as though each is branded into the path of fate. While the fretboard offers the illusion of choice, B O L T’s commitment to their cause means that only one option lies open to them. For all its drumless shunted movement, this is drone in the truest sense – a single idea ploughed for all its sonic worth.

The two guitars compact on top of eachother like sedimentary layers. One grumbles beneath as a tectonic vibration shuddering through the soles of feet, channelling the pressure of underground volcanic heat, while the other sits on the surface like a jagged rock pointing upward toward the sky, covered in the grit and rubble of distortion. They exist to co-exist. Even when “[ 1 9 ]” and “[ 2 6 ]” unearth a glint of optimism, the duo remain resolutely bleak in their handling of it. And even when both basses cut back – often leaving piano, accordion or electronic keyboard plodding solemnly and alone – the other instruments perpetuate the sense of sinister rhythmic perseverance. Plod, plod, plod. The melodies never truly resolve. The job is never done. Even as ( 0 3 ) reaches its conclusion after 63 minutes, rising and falling like a sea beast moored on its back, inhaling and exhaling in exhaustion and urgency, the ending hangs wide open. B O L T fade out restlessly, still quivering with insatiable inquisition. Where now? What resides beneath the bone?