Home Read Classic Album Review: Iowaska | Vine of Souls

Classic Album Review: Iowaska | Vine of Souls

The British foursome serve a potent cocktail of space-rock and anarchistic punk.

This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


No, they’re not a ska band from Des Moines. And despite being on Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label, this spaced-out British foursome aren’t a punk outfit — at least, not in the traditional sense.

What they are, however, is a little tougher to pin down. Led by former Amebix and Skraelings female singer/guitarist Sam Skraeling, Iowaska take their name from the South American hallucinogenic Ayahuasca, which should give you a hint. Their music is just as trippy — a dreadlocked, supernatural melange of snarling Crass anarchy, hard-hitting Hawkwind cosmic fuzz and Souixsie she-punk, mixed with their druid-wiccan-earth-mother-goddess-communal-hippie-vegan-feminist philosophy into a potent musical cocktail. It’s so unpunk it’s totally punk. And way better than a ska band from Des Moines — or anywhere else.