Skoal!

We Knock Goblets for Our Own Beat Underground

"Repetition brings results," William Burroughs wrote in the essay "Electronic Revolution." While the old reprobate was actually offering advice on photographically destroying enemies, the likes of Public Image Limited, Cabaret Voltaire, and DNA started applying the observation to music even before Burroughs's guerilla media manual found decent distribution stateside. Not that Skoal Kodiak are emulating the above groups, any more than they're biting the Master Musicians of Jajouka. Unlike so many other bands, the trio seeks neither to recreate the past nor celebrate it. Drummer Freddy Votel, bassist Brady Lentzen, and vocalist Markus Lunkenheimer are simply adept at first plowing shoulder-deep grooves that last for miles, and then filling them with transmissions from some point beyond Sirius B. The results shoot through our nervous systems, our endocrine systems, and pretty much everywhere with a floor big enough to dance on. Let us, then, fill our glasses with a libation made from equal parts nitroglycerin and starlight, and raise them in honor of Skoal Kodiak. Here are two toasts by Picked to Click voters who helped put the band on the list:

The first time I saw Skoal Kodiak was at a now-closed underground club in Minneapolis. The place was dark and plastered with art, including a beer cap-inlaid bar from which cold beverages were cheerfully served to those of legal drinking age. I could feel the energy and excitement surrounding the band and the club, but wasn't sure what I was in for. When Skoal took the stage, I'm pretty sure Markus had a hood or mask on (but I could be wrong) and I thought the bleach bottle/microphone was brilliant and hilarious. I couldn't understand a word he was singing/screaming, but the unity of laundry and rock was pure genius. The sweaty crowd jumped and danced around like lunatics—like the good old days. Their music entranced and absorbed me. Skoal is music future and past, like no other band I've seen. Heidi Vader, DEMO

First thought: The Church. Halloween. Costumes, drugs, freaks, and ghouls. A massive, salty dance seizure. Also that last Church show, droning on and on with Noise Queen Ant. Annoyed? Here comes a blinding flash of white light. Then darkness. Rest. Flash! Fucking migraines. The sun's coming up and they're still testing our patience? Flash! Stab! Wake up, motherfucker! A hot signal coursing through an amp on the cusp of destruction. Magnetic demolition. Violent illness. Infection. Quarantine and isolation. Grinning sadists, bouncing in the lobotomy chair. Christopher Matthew Jensen, writer

 
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