Karma To Burn ‘Appalachian Incantation’ CD/2xLP 2010
Okay, hands up everyone who thought Karma To Burn had vanished into the mists of time. Most of you? Right, now, hands up everyone who would be surprised but super-chuffed to see ’em come back again. All of you? That’s what I thought.
A rousing welcome back from the Twilight Zone to Karma To Burn, then! Following the quiet release of a live recording and DVD last year, ‘Live In London & Chasing The Dragon’, and after the release of a box-set of their back-catalogue by the excellent Metal Mind Productions back in 2007, Karma To Burn are back with this, their brand new studio LP. Having already played a string of European tour dates, including the Roadburn Festival, it seems the rejuvenated instrumental rock triumvirate are back for good. The good ol’ boys seem hellbent on making amends for their silence between 2001 and 2009 by dropping the afore-mentioned live dates, live LP, super-fancy-pants vinyl re-releases of ‘Wild Wonderful Purgatory’ & ‘Almost Heathen’ and THIS li’l corker on us, their adoring public.
‘Appalachian Incantation’ is eight rawkin’ new tracks of KTB – PLUS an extra SEVEN tracks if you, like me, are smart enough to get the two disc version containing bonus EP ‘Cat Got Our Tongue’ – all of which are well up to the usual standard of KTB fare, and all of which are instrumental (as ever), bar ONE. ‘Waiting on the Western World’ contains soulful vocals and lyrics by Daniel Davies, vocalist/guitarist of KTB bassist Rich Mullins OTHER ongoing concern, Year Long Disaster. A tightly rockin’ li’l number with a dark feel to it and a vocal performance reminiscent of the late, lamented Jeff Buckley. Crackin’ stuff.
Aside from the vocal intrusion, it’s very much business as usual in the KTB camp. Seven groove-filled tracks of quality rock and the, by now, standard numerical titles. By this point, numerically speaking, we are in the forties. Opener ‘Forty-Four’ grooves along on rumblin’ bass and those tumbling guitar notes that geetarist Will Mecum has such a fondness for, my personal favourite track ‘Forty-Two’ has quicksilver guitar all over the gaff and a natty cowbell break amidst the striaght-up rockin’, and closer ‘Twenty-Four’ has a lumbering bluesy groove that could really drive a broom, to paraphrase Captain Beefheart. You know, though, it seems unfair to single out individual tracks here, as all eight are cut from very much the same quality cloth and, hell, it’s just so damn good to have them back!!
Oh, as for the bonus disc, well, hows about an opening track featuring the mighty John Garcia on vocals? Thought that’d make you sit up and pay attention. The ex-Kyuss vocalist lends his lungs to a track called ‘Two Times’ that sounds rather like ‘(Waltz Of The) Playboy Pallbearers’ off of the first, self-titled, KTB LP. In fact, the following two tracks are instrumental re-recordings of ‘Patty Hearst’s Closet Mantra’ and ‘Mt. Penetrator’ from that same record, along with new versions of ‘Thirteen’and ‘Six’, and two new tracks, ‘Twenty’ and ‘Thirty’. Pretty darned ‘bonus’ huh?
So there you have it. The welcome return of Karma To Burn. It’s like they were never away. Here’s hoping they stick around for a while yet.
Label: Napalm Records
Scribed by: Paul Robertson