Krakatoa "Clouds Burned by Sunshine" 7"Posted on Thursday, June 2nd, 2005 @ 6:23am » permalink
Ahhh, Krakatoa. I did a feature about these guys on the old version of my site five years ago, but I've been an immense fan for almost a decade now, despite the fact that the band only recorded like nine damn songs throughout their on and off eight-year existence: One 7", and one (barely) full-length CD. The band formed in 1992 (originally called Engine) and initially played their final show in 1993 – which was also the very first show for guitarist Carl Skildum's other band, Threadbare (who released two incredible EP's of their own that I'll also be featuring here at some point); while vocalist Dave Walker went on to join Harvest.
This particular 7" was recorded in 1995 when the four original band members were back in town together and decided to come up with some new material, all of which was written and recorded within just two weeks. Shockingly enough they never intended to release the stuff because apparently they're insane and don't realize that this mere project is also one of the greatest bands ever to have graced the earth, but thankfully Second Nature Recordings got wind of it and released the two songs as the "Clouds Burned by Sunshine" EP in 1996. (Gracious thanks to Dan Askew for having superb taste.) I remember buying this 7" on a whim shortly after it came out, and to this day it remains the single most played piece of vinyl in my collection. The songs are intensely emotional, creatively melodic, and yet still aggressive: Screaming, singing, whispering, chunky rhythms, clean passages, wicked lead breaks… it's all here, and it's all amazing.
The individual members reunited again years later, releasing the almighty "Channel Static Blackout" CD in 2000, also on Second Nature Recordings. (Thanks again, Dan!) The CD follows suit with the EP and offers up seven more tracks of incredibly powerful, absolutely inventive metallic hardcore: Perhaps you can pick up a few influences here and there, but there is absolutely no other band that sounds like Krakatoa. Carl Skildum is, in my opinion, one of the most talented songwriters I've ever heard, and it pains me that most all of his work has been so criminally underrated. The man can simply do no wrong…
But while I absolutely adored Threadbare, Krakatoa is just the kind of stuff that makes me furious at how immeasurably shitty and insincere some of the most popular metalcore bands are these days – especially when material like this, which is basically genius, has been largely ignored over the years since the band was basically an aside that never toured or anything. No shit, though, from a songwriting standpoint Krakatoa crushes almost any other band of its kind:
Remarkably the 7" is still available:
However, I also wholeheartedly recommend the full-length. I still very much contend that they should've tacked on the 7" tracks to the CD as a bonus, but nevertheless it's worth every fucking penny. (And you can find it for peanuts used because, once again, people are fucking stupid!)