Call Me Lightning- When I Am Gone My Blood Will Be Free

By - Jul 23rd, 2010 04:00 am
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At first I was like you. I was apprehensive and confused. When some of these tunes started slipping into their live sets I became increasingly concerned for the future of my local heroes. What would become of Milwaukee’s pet herky-jerky, quirky punk band when they started to sound more like what their name suggests and less like what history recalls?

With this effort, Nathan Lilley and his band Call Me Lightning have made a sacrificial change for the better. They have created something honest, beautiful, and unapologetic; a triumvirate of qualities that few Milwaukee-based artists have had the balls to exude.

On the surface this album sounds like it wears big black boots with red laces and a paisley speckled drug-rug. With its “Baba O’Riley” beats and Stiff Little Fingers styled anthemia countered by some slower, psychedelic tinged passages. Emotionally and intellectually, this album wears its heart on its sleeve.

The lyrics employ a crafty and powerful mode of triumphantly heart breaking duality, forming a poignant and revelatory evaluation of the things most and least important in the lives of modern men. These songs have made me jump around my tiny apartment, pumping my fist and howling along. They’ve also made me a crumbled mess, weeping in the corner. Sometimes simultaneously.

Photo by Jennifer Bartel

As much as I’d love to get microscopically specific and over analyze every note and syllable contained within these tracks, neither of us have the time nor the patience. The details that make this thing pop for me may be different from another perspective, but they’re undoubtedly there, begging for your discovery.

When I Am Gone My Blood Will Be Free is a break-up record replete with themes of farewell, but not to a person or a place. It’s a eulogy for those parts of our lives that must die in order for us to live as ourselves — realistically acknowledging our faults and championing their existence as inevitabilities that add to the diversity of our experiences.

Dusty Medical has done a great service to our community by finally making this record available for purchase. It is my belief that every Milwaukee citizen should listen to this very carefully and absorb the connections to their own lives, be they inherent or invented. Perhaps not everyone, just those of us that give a shit about whatever it is that separates the aliens from the baboons.

Call Me Lightning plays a CD release show Saturday, July 24 at The Bay View Post, 2860 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Categories: Preview, Rock

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