Karma To Burn – “Mountain Czar”

Karma

Karma To Burn – “Mountain Czar” EP (Rodeostar / SPV)

Battle Helm Rating

Close to two decades on and instrumental incantationists Karma To Burn remain as popular as ever before – on both sides of the Atlantic! Despite being long praised in stoner circles and more recently, the desert rock fraternity, K2B neither hit the bong and actually hail from West Virginia, also called ´The Mountain State` – hence the intentional title by the way! Still, its easy to see why the labels are somewhat deserved with the band’s long, complex instrumentals that roll in some serious backwoods grooves into cosmic rhythms that would have any hop head in karmic bliss. The overall effect, especially when considering the band’s monumental 2010 release “Appalachian Incantation” is nothing short of trance like, whether from the combined effect of this power trio or just how they keep it together with those songs that hold you from start to finish. Call it the continuous flow of the arrangements that maintain the suspense and dynamics, or the handmade, organic music they cultivate which is the very antithesis of the machine music made for the masses in this digital age. But clearly there’s plenty of folks out there liking ’em and how they do it! This EP keeps it in the same tradition of 6 tracks, five of which are breathtakingly titled ´Sixty`, ´Sixty One`, ´Sixty Two` and ´Sixty Three` ha ha. It’s all weaved around Mecum’s guitar of course, what with its premium riffs and exotic sound, incorporating every detail from controlled wails and blues licks to chopping intensity – but all ably backed by the tight but still flexible rhythm of new addition Eric von Clutter’s heaving bass and Evan Devine‘s dull sounding, but technically expressive drumming on the rollin’ ‘Sixty One’ and the heavy head shake of ‘Sixty Two’. Do they ever try new things? Well, they have in the past with vocalists and y’know, it didn’t work….but here they are again on ‘Uccidendo Un Sogno’ a cover track of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers ´Runnin Down A Dream`, this time with Italian vocalist Stefanie Savy singing. Same result I guess, but more a contradiction of Savy’s dark style against the upbeat US rock, rather than the West Virginian’s goofing. Oh well guys, if it ain’t broke……

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