BEST LIVE ARTIST - 2008
On the Turf Club stage, Skoal Kodiak's vocalist and master electrician Markus Lunkenheimer raves with the impassioned stagger of a preacher possessed. Bit-crushed samples throb from his bay of handcrafted effects, while a clash of drums and fuzzed bass keeps unwavering time. The sight would be stunning enough, even without the capacity crowd writhing and roiling in equal parts mosh and tribal stomp. The crazed, frenzied sound is overpowering, a ferocious presence that demands submission, and with a slew of shows over the last three years (divided nearly equally between venues, basements, and spaces even more unexpected), it has earned Skoal Kodiak this following of fans, as devoted and impassioned as Sufi dervishes. Through the wonder of DIY circuitry, Lunkenheimer's invocations get disassembled into a mud pile of corroded digital moans, the words all but rusted away. However far into chaos they venture, bassist Brady Lenzen and drummer Freddy Votel (formerly of the Cows) fashion relentless rhythms that repeat into abstraction and never fail to bring their crowds to a hard boil. The effect is not alloy, but ore—something elemental and inspiring. To call it "dancing" misses the boat—what unfolds within a Skoal Kodiak crowd is something much more primal and eviscerating.