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Broken Face #12

http://brokenface.exitflagger.com/

Skye Klad S/t Mutant Music CD

***1/2

Skye Klad is a Minneapolis space rock unit that seems to be quite content with illustrating what it might be like to cross the celestial equator in a rocket ship instead of signing up for next year's astronaut program. What we get on this self-titled full-length debut is a vast array of styles, taking cues from Spaceman 3, Hawkwind, Sonic Youth, as well as from heavy psych rock, acid folk, and the finest of Krautrock bands. "Mind's Eye" is a particularly pleasing rumbling fuzz-drenched space rock song with occasional guitar freak-outs that could be evidence of an interest in stuff like Japanese High Rise and Overhang Party. Since these guys played with the latter on their American tour a couple years ago, I might now be completely off the mark here. The distorted vocals of Adam Backstrom on "Vespers" make this pumping Hawkwind-esque rock song sound almost gothic while the cover of Low's "Sleep At the Bottom" slows things down to something utterly haunting and even foreboding. This is a song that I think I would have preferred with lighter vocals to fully explore these wind tunnels of swirling guitar and electronic effects. That doesn't apply for "Debutante" where Backtrom's dark vocal delivery makes perfect sense, placed right next to metallic guitar lines industrial percussion. Then there's the shoegazey Martian dust storm of "Ionosphere" and the blend of straight-up rock crunch and crumbling electronic weirdness in "Hummadruz." "Amber" is another favorite track, leading things to quiet walls of synths with hypnotic over-amplified acoustic guitars, which will be appreciated not only by hardcore skygazers but also people with more folkish tastes. "Visceral Reaction" continues to spew gas, ice and dust particles out into space before the smoking fireball streaks across the sky in the closing "Falling Clear" People interested in any of the bands mentioned above know what to do.

Mats Gustafsson