Standout favorites of Riding Easy Records’ Brown Acid compilation series, White Lightning’s stellar discography of rare and under-appreciated heavy psych, proto-metal rock gets a vital revival for new generations to learn how swinging, swaggering and often blazingly fast rock’n’roll is done. White Lightning was formed in Minneapolis, MN in 1968 by guitarist Tom “Zippy” Caplan and bassist Woody Woodrich after leaving garage psych band The Litter (themselves popular standouts from the Nuggets and Pebbles series of garage rock rarities.) Originally a power trio, the band later expanded to a five-piece in 1969 while shortening its name to Lightning. The quintet’s brilliant and rare 1970 self-titled album on Pickwick International’s P.I.P. imprint provides six of the ten tracks on Thunderbolts Of Fuzz. The original White Lightning trio only released the one 45-rpm single “Of Paupers And Poets” during their existence (on local Hexagon label in 1968, later reissued by major label ATCO Records in 1969.) A long out-of-print posthumous album released in 1995 gathered unreleased recordings, three of which are found here. This rounds out this collection of recorded highlights from the band’s rocky history.
Taking their name from a particularly potent type of LSD, White Lightning laid out from the start that it was not cute and cuddly ’70s rock. In fact, the band’s aggressive tempos are like punk rock way before punk. However, their dirty blues groove and musical prowess shows the band was more than unrefined ne’er-do-wells, they had true versatility.