Cloudkicker: Live With Intronaut

Ohio’s instrumental maverick veers off the road

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If ever there’s an inspirational story for all aspiring bedroom musicians, it’s this. Bubbling under the surface for years, Ben Sharp, aka Cloudkicker from Columbus, Ohio, had been self-recording/producing instrumentals and releasing them for free to anyone who wanted them.

He didn’t have an agenda; he just enjoyed making music. But nothing stays a secret for long, and soon he caught the ears of LA-based post-metallers Intronaut.

Defying logistical ballaches, they partnered up for a month’s tour and the result was Live With Intronaut, a frenetic journey through technically inspired post-metal that heaves with depth. Take ‘live’ with a pinch of salt if you’re a stickler for authenticity; the tracks were recorded in a studio post-tour and mixed with crowd SFX lifted from one of their gigs.

Live… takes Cloudkicker’s polyrhythms and light-exploding atmosphere and lends it grit and aching melancholy. If this is the first real sign that post-metal and technical prog can exist as bedfellows, it’s a promising start./o:p

Holly Wright

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.