Shirt Stains: Crapatonia


Dethroned & Uncrowned & preferably undressed.

Katatonia is a Swedish metal band known for their sad, almost dreamy sound. Though their early albums can be considered as the starting point for death-doom metal, their current music incorprates elements of gothic and even alternative metal. Throughout their 20+ year career, the band has mainly focused on themes of melancholy and contemplation.

What separates Katatonia from other depressive-based music is that there always seems to be a shred of beautiful hope, a small spark that bad times do indeed end.  A bit of gloomy woomy slumpy grumpy, but without the utter helplessness of depressive suicidal black metal. At least with me, Katatonia gives me a “happy in a sad, sad in a happy” sort of feeling. It can leave you with eyes welling with tears, but a small smile on your face. Of course, that’s just my opinion. I’m sure others feel differently. Regardless, a band that invokes such personal feelings has to have merch that properly conveys the tragic beauty of life. A shirt that really speaks to the music and the people behind it. Something that let’s non-fans know exactly what the band is and what it means to the wearer.


God. Damn. It.

What is that? Is that a rotten piece of candy or did Starburst finally start making a boullion-flavored version? Yeah, it’s still juicy, but it’s definitely not fruity. Is it a book? A wet Post-It note? A turkey sandwich on wheat, no crust, with a few nibbles taken out of it? Is something on fire? Masterlord! Zoom and enhance!


Yeah I still have no idea. The super-edgy syringe on top of it suggests that it might just be a desk or a table. Or an overflowing square potty. Cool? I guess? Is the syringe supposed to imply illicit drug use? Suicide? Flavor injection? The importance of vaccinating your children? Keeping your blood sugar in check? Really, this is all one big effort to draw your attention away from their logo that looks like it came from an AOL screen name. ReMeMbEr ThAT? Put in a few X’s and maybe your birth date and we’re one a/s/l/pic from a good cyber time.

Sigh. Well maybe the back is better.


Son of a bitch. Did someone from the band spill their glass of skim milk? Did someone stab Edgar Winter? Are those the deformed lungs of a former Chernobyl worker? Mississippi and Alabama side-by-side? It’s even printed on a slight angle as if to say “Oh, you like our band? Ayyyyyy lmao!” Hmm, there seems to be some writing on the back. I say “seems to be” because it’s so fucking small that a complimentary monocle should come with it for looking (and dropping in shock). Maybe this will help convey a sense of loss and redemption. W! Embiggen!


It’s lyrics to their song “Sweet Nurse” off their 2001 album Last Fair Deal Gone Down. That would be okay if it was bigger and more legible. Do you really want people shoving their face inches from your back? I suppose you can try to turn it into booty shorts and when they get real close, you just back your ass into their face. Thanks, Katatonia. You really know how to cheer people up.

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