Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Karma to Burn - Slight Reprise (2012) | 85%

toodoodo! You found the instrumental tits of groove!

The instrumental stoner veterans released their sixth album last year and while it doesn't deviate from their usual sound, it's still pretty enjoyable. You don't need to fix a solid recipe, eh ? I always have a time hard time with instrumental bands, they really have a different focus than bands with singers. They paint landscapes with sounds and it's sometimes harder to truly achieve a pleasing sound of their own. Not for K2B though.

From fast paced stoner to slower southern kicks in the ass, Karma to Burn's wheels are pretty used to the long road. "Fourteen" starts with a bluesy slow riff and evolves into a stoner metal track. The three musicians are extremely good and they're never showing off, the drums, the bass and the guitars all brothers in arms, in perfect cohesion. Three Harley Davidsons rolling at the same speed on a gravely road, they're all leaving tips to the huge tits waitresses at the bar and drinking their Mexican lager with immense pleasure. The guitars are heavy and catchy, fast and rich giving a sense of movement to the listeners. The bass, loud and subtle at the same time, is a perfect acolyte who's choosing its moments to shine like on the immense ''Seven''. The drums are a powerhouse of might, heavy and easy to groove to. They often do their own thing and while the instruments are often quite unique in their approach, everything is cohesive.

Even though like I said, I usually prefer the presence of vocals in my metal, these guys are perfect like that and even if they sold out their soul for their first album (Roadrunner forced them to get a singer). The album is a reinterpreation of the debut (hence the title) without a singer and with the current lineup and it's much better since the vocals were so out of place and mediocre. They had a no name dude probably found in a local cougar infested bar somewhere. The only song with vocals is ''Two Times'' and it features the legendary John Garcia from Kyuss and it's obviously quite cool as Karma to Burn is one of the best stoner bands around, instrumental or not.

They threw feces at the establishment and endured as a trio for the rest of their career and I expect them to do so until the end, as it should be. Artistic integrity is important, you play metal because you want to break free of these conventions but you're never really free. Somewhere, somehow, someone will tell you what to do, you can sure become successful but respect is somewhat harder to get. It's a matter of decisions, smart or not it doesn't matter when it's conform to your ideals.

Their sound can be a bit formulaic at times since there's not a lot of variations and the songs are pretty much all alike but it remains interesting and it's not a long album. As their third album in three years, the passion is still there. Unfortunately, I don't have a car but I guess this band is ideal for road trips.

While not as interesting as psychedelic instrumental rock bands like Sungod or even perhaps some particular drone/doom, their sound exists for a reason, it's groovy, sexy and smells like leather and asphalt and you need to admire that.

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