Aural Innovations Sept 2000 by Keith Henderson
Skye Klad did get their opportunity to play for us (twice as it turned out), and they didn’t disappoint! At the stroke of 2:00 PM, the five shot right into a blistering version of Can’s “Mother Sky.” An appropriate track, since despite an uncanny resemblance to Billy Corgan, singer Adam Backstrom is far more predisposed to the breathy-scat singing style of Damo Suzuki. The next couple of tracks surprised me, as they were fast, loud, and almost ‘stoner rock.’ But the band was extremely tight, and the dual guitar approach was spot on. Jason Kesselring was exercising his fast and nimble fingers on the fretboard during numerous lead lines, and Erik Wivinus was more prone to the droney e-bow and wah-pedal guitar work on his semi-acoustic. We got treated to more of the latter during the slower, more shoegazery numbers (“Ionosphere” and Low’s “Sleep at the Bottom” I’m guessing), and I grew to love Skye Klad’s multivariant form of Space Rock. Oddly, the group goes without a full-time keyboard/synth player, but they did pull out a Theremin and drummer Matt Zaun appeared to have a loop playback unit at his disposal. By set’s end, Kesselring had proven to be pursuing the “Jimmy Page Guitar God” status with his violin-bow demonstration (I was waiting for the lighter fluid to appear next), but I couldn’t criticize what I was hearing, and that’s the main thing. To be frank, Skye Klad *looks* like a mega-star MTV alternative band, but they the sure don’t sound like it! Skye Klad Set No. 1 closed out with the delightfully fun and shagadelic “Mind’s Eye,” where I got the pleasure of watching Orion Studios’ engineer Mike Potter show off his version of the Twist. There were a few problems with the sound (especially with the vocal microphones, which continued through most of the day), but you couldn’t deny that >Skye Klad really impressed the die-hard fans who packed into the tent. ST 37’s Scott Telles ended up next to me and said he’d been listening to them from across the way and just had to come by and see who these guys were. High praise indeed.