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Cloudkicker: Live With Intronaut

Ohio’s instrumental maverick veers off the road

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