Nov 182011

I am very slowly making my way home from vacation today, with limited net access, so I’m writing this in a hurry.  Still, I thought the news was sufficiently interesting that I wanted to get this out there before tomorrow.

Here at NCS, we were latecomers to the musical phenomenon known as Cloudkicker (a/k/a Ben Sharp). But late was better than never, and when we had our eyes opened, they opened wide. NCS co-founder and infrequent contributor IntoTheDarkness put Cloudkicker’s 2010 album, Beacons, at No. 3 on his personal list of the year’s Top 25 releases, calling it “the best instrumental album all year.”

Our more regular contributor BadWolf had it at No. 6 on his list of the year’s best, calling it “one of the first pieces of genuinely brilliant metal-as-art to be released not only outside of the label system but outside of capitalism period.” And one of our guest contributors, The Artist Formerly Known As Dan, assigned it to the No. 8 position on his best-of-2010 list, with these words: “He doesn’t need a label because he can already do everything he needs to by himself.  And he’s beyond talented.” And last, I included a song from Beacons on our list of 2010’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs.

With that backdrop, you can imagine how interested I was to see an e-mail from MaxR at Metal Bandcamp today with this news: Cloudkicker has just released not one but two new albums — Loop and Let Yourself Be Huge. I’ve turned the album titles into links that will take you to the Cloudkicker Bandcamp pages where each album is available for free download, or any donation you feel is fair. Both albums are streaming here after the jump — and I’ve got a few more observations about the music, too (it’s not metal). Continue reading »

Oct 312010

Yesterday we tossed up a teaser on this site, just a single song for you to hear with no information about the band (other than the mp3 tag that I didn’t know how to eliminate from the file). We did promise to reveal more about the music today, and we don’t lie.

The song we featured yesterday is called “The Discovery”. It’s the seventh track on a debut album that’s also called The Discovery. It was released in July 2008 by a “band” called Cloudkicker, which turns out not to be a band at all.

Cloudkicker came to my attention via a message from my occasional NCS collaborator IntoTheDarkness, which was worded as follows: “Ok, so I know ur not much for instrumental stuff, but i’ve been listening to a lot lately and you need to check these guys out. They are called Cloudkicker and they are hands down the best instrumental band I have ever heard next to AAL. Especially check out the song ‘the discovery.’ Fucking incredible.”

So that certainly got my attention, particularly because “AAL” is Animals As Leaders, and I’ve made quite plain my slavish devotion to that band. I tracked down the song, listened to it, and quickly decided that yes, it is indeed fucking incredible. And it turns out that Cloudkicker has generated a lot more music that’s equally awesome.  (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »