Kommunity FK arose from the LA avant-garde gloom scene with a sound somewhere between Joy Division, Christian Death and Savage Republic. The Vision and the Voice is an excellent album, starting with its Boschian cover art depicting naked figures cavorting and fornicating around a giant red penis. Patrick Mata’s clear, soaring vocals nicely match his minimalist guitar work. The trio isn’t afraid to try different ideas — from primitive art-punk with ominous synthesizer effects through dense, doomy punk noise and blur-thrash to neo-industrial experiments resembling a milder Neubauten. Gripping, lurking bass comes to the fore on “Unknown to You” and the circular, rhythmic “We Will Not Fall.”
The band split and reformed repeatedly, keeping Mata and drummer Matt Chaikin as the only constants. One stable stretch in 1984 allowed the creation of the similarly satisfying Close One Sad Eye, released late in ’85. The rough, punk/industrial edges had been smoothed out to a Comsat Angels/Tuxedomoon sheen, and the Joy Division influence (especially on the dramatic drone of “Junkies” and the “Love Will Tear Us Apart”-ish “Trollops”) is noticeably greater. A fulltime keyboardist integrates synth into the compositions, and Mata’s vocals are far more theatrical and dynamic. The haunting “Something Inside Me Has Died” is not only the standout track on the LP, but one of the finest gothic anthems by any American group. (In 1990, both albums were scheduled to be issued on CD by Dali/Chameleon.)
Mata spent the latter half of the ’80s alternating between England, where he formed bands with bassists Cam Campbell (of Andi Sex-Gang notoriety) and Eddie Branch (ex-UK Decay/Furyo), and Los Angeles, where he continued to shuffle ineffectual KFK lineups and work with other groups, but Sativa Luvbox is the only project of his to actually result in a record so far.