A recent post over at The Living Doorway got me thinking about the 90’s “art punk” scene in San Diego, which I always thought was a pretty pretentious name for a “genre”, but the scene produced some awesome bands, Clikatat Ikatowi being one of the best. They came a little later in the decade, formed by the guitarist of Heroin and drummer Mario Rubalcaba, who has since played with a shit ton of bands like Metroschifter, Black Heart Procession, Pinback, Hot Snakes and currently Earthless. I always loved his drumming on this album specifically, his driving, complex tom beats and general style set him apart from other drummers in the scene. The guitarist’s style was equally unique, owing as much to jazz as it did to say Drive like Jehu or his earlier work in Heroin. Noisy and discordant, half the time he wasn’t playing riffs so much as noisy abstraction. The vocals were part spoken word, part screaming, his lyrics and style just as abstract as the music. I’m not sure who came first, these guys or Swing Kids, another great band, but they obviously influenced one another and in turn influenced the much maligned screamo genre. If you let that turn you off then you’re a dumb ass, cus this album is great.