Krakoa - Biography

Born in the muck, mire, and Vicodin of northwest Ohio's Black Swamp region, KRAKOA was the baby of proud papas Charlie Pauken (formerly guitarist for Bowling Green's short-lived hardcore legends the Straightaways) and Bob Manley (formerly guitarist for long lived Cincinatti metal band Recitivist) when the two discovered they had a mutual love for stoner rock.

Practicing every weekend in Pauken's third floor studio eventually came to a halt with the installment of a nosy and ignorant Born-Again Christian building manager and increased interpersonnel tensions. Pauken proceeded to go it alone and recorded a short demo that would become the initial Colossus EP, which would eventually get rerecorded in conjunction with The Golden Calf EP. Both of these, with the inclusion of live material from the Ratskins EP would be compiled on Cathal Brugha, a record that has seen three different versions of cover art.

Colossus, which was distributed initially on cassette, was used with the intention of recruiting band members. Among the prospects were Matt Hinkleman of Hubbcap and Mark from the Huron County Creeps before Mike Lupro (formerly drummer for Truman's Water) stepped in to man the kit for a maximum of two shows which eventually became three. Pauken's brother, Joe, stepped in to handle bass duties.

Education split this lineup to different cities, and found Pauken going it alone again, now in Minneapolis. This era yielded half of the songs that would become The Golden Calf and eventually the IO - The Kilowatt Hour LP, which Pauken (jokingly) released in a limited quantity of one, claiming that the writing and recording were both subpar. It was also during this period that Pauken began shopping around for bandmates with Cathal Brugha, but to no avail until drummer Josiah Doles listened to the record and claimed that he wanted to join up. With Doles in tow, Pauken recruited old friend Dave Lucius (formerly guitarist for For The Kids and Widowmaker Jones) to handle bass duties. Desiring to record an entire band all at once, the band recruited engineer / guitarist Anders Lundberg to handle the board while the three were in the recording studio. To their surprise and pleasure, it turned out Anders also played saxophone. This would be the line up that would record Over That Wall The Orchard Is On Fire.

Written and rehearsed nearly entirely through a harsh Minneapolis winter and concocted throughout many of Pauken's then insomniatic episodes, Over That Wall The Orchard Is On Fire was not only KRAKOA's first "official" LP, but also their most diverse incorporating sounds from math rock, hardcore, post punk, jazz, surf, and stoner metal not merely song by song, but usually all at once garnering comparisons to Sonic Youth, Big Black, and, as one listener put it, "like Gentle Giant playing punk rock".

From there, this line up split, once again leaving Pauken to his own devices. Vowing to not repeat himself and experimenting with available equipment, Pauken began inadvertantly recording I Hear Movements In The Boudoir, an LP born out of recording experiments that were never meant to be used as anything more than documentation and reference material. However, the results were too good and thus another KRAKOA record was born. This time around, Pauken employed various four-track cassettes into the recording, thus earning former bandmate (from a former band) Anadar Moran a performance credit for violin work. It was this record that incited Robin Hood Hills frontman Scot Thompson to offer his services as a drummer for KRAKOA, a venture that lasted two rehearsals before he relocated to rural Minnesota. Yet these rehearsals were fruitful, and spawned the ideas for two songs that would subsequently appear on the 5 Songs EP, considered by many who've listened to it to be KRAKOA's best recording yet.

KRAKOA's most recent show reunited the brothers Pauken along with a drum machine to perform material from Colossus. It should be noted that all dozen or so people in attendance stood way the fuck back.

For fans of: Graves of the Endless Fall, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Raccoo-oo-oon, Rapeman.

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