14 hours ago
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Long, long ago, way back before the Y2K Catastrophe caused international turmoil by crashing the global power grid, I played in this band with a drummer named Josh. Josh was always talking about this amazing band from San Diego called Clikatat Ikatowi, speaking in hushed tones about their immeasurable creativity, mind-numbing live shows, and unmatched skill. Especially the drummer. He passed a few dubbed cassettes along to me, which I thought were fucking great, if not a little confusing.
I won't deny it, Clikatat were Sweater Punks. You know the type: Those post-hardcore dudes that all wore the same almost-shaggy haircut and nondescript clothing, dudes that always seemed to be either writing in a notebook or smoking a cigarrette. Sergeant D says it's something called "SKRAMS". I don't really get it. Speaking of which: If there's one complaint I would make about Clikatat Ikatowi, it's that the vocals tend to wander off into some sort of breathy/Fugazi/kid-whining-because-you-just-stole-his-ball territory now and then, which I guess might be considered a "skrammy"(?) trait. But whatever. The music is top notch, chock full of weird patterns and strange noises that veer off into absolute chaos at one moment before slowing to a ponderous crawl in the next. Apparently, these guys were part of a larger Gravity Records scene, and went on to play in bands such as Heroin and Black Heart Procession (I am familiar with neither).
Sure, certain IC readers will probably condemn me for pandering to the art-rock/trust-fund/So-Cal "experimental music" kids on this one, but you know what? Fuck it. Clikatat Ikatowi's music has kept my attention for over a decade, and their talents in both angular composition and flawless execution can't be denied. Josh was right.
"Too Simple", live 1994 in a trailer in Boulder, Colorado (note the sweaters):
Clikatat Ikatowi on Last.FM