The Karma Party – Illumination EP

TKP High Res 1

Last year The Karma Party unleashed one of the most thrilling confrontational propositions with the Dark Matters EP and now they return with another voraciously captivating and antagonistic incitement in the shape of the Illumination EP. Continuing the ferocious blend of punk, dub, and hardcore infused with plenty more invigorating flavours, which marked out their last release as an essential moment of 2013, the UK quintet has honed their ‘punk-step’ incitement into an even more inventive and evocative adventure. Without losing the snarl and bite of their politically charged lyrical intent, there is a new maturity and exploration within their songwriting and sound as evidenced on the new EP, an evolution which again results in an irresistible stirring up of thoughts and emotions.

Hailing from Blackpool, The Karma Party as mentioned made a potent and imposingly striking introduction with Dark Matters last year, surrounding and following it with a live presence which was as much a lure to the passions of fans as their release. Touring extensively with bands such as Random Hand, Dirty Revolution, and Jaya the Cat, the band in between EPs additionally recruited guitarist James Routh, also the bassist for Sonic Boom Six, into the line-up of vocalist Marc ‘Merc ‘ Walker, guitarist Liam Carroll, bassist Dave Cowley, and drummer Luke Hesketh. Now The Karma Party as expected go for the jugular with their new release, a commanding encounter which sets ears aflame, thoughts provoked, and passions stirred.

Opening track World War instantly proves the band has lost none of its antagonistic prowess musically and lyrically, emerging from distant scenery with electro enticing it erupts into a muscular imposing of jarring rhythms and jagged TKP Illumination 1500x1500riffs entwined with sonic grooves. Shards of electronic expulsions litter the growing landscape of the song all the time whilst the vocals of Walker and the band prowl with provocative intent across the brooding drama. It is not as dramatic an entrance as you might surmise but a severely compelling one which soon adds extra seduction through the smooth croon of Walker before unleashing a sinew clad bounce of contagiousness for the chorus. There is an edge of King Prawn to the track once into its full stride as well as the insatiable revelry of Sonic Boom Six which maybe was inevitable with Routh producing the DIY release, but also a rawness which adds an extra lacing of causticity and attitude. The song continues to engage ears with shifting invention and thoughts with its firm yet not preachy lyrical narrative for a thoroughly captivating and potent start to the release.

It is a beginning soon taken to another level with the following Under Surveillance. A track which carries an air of Asian Dub Foundation from around their Punkara album, it opens with a delicious carnival like tease of sound which is soon stomping with contentious resourcefulness and devilry. It is a mesmeric introduction enhanced by the riveting throaty sound of Cowley’s bass. Into its keen punchy stride, the song stalks and inspires the imagination addictively, vocals pushing the honest narrative whilst guitars and keys create a web of infectious mischief and commanding intimidation which like the emerging invention simply ignites the senses. Easily one of the most imaginatively virulent persuasions to come along this year, the track steals the passions with ease.

Democracy offers its own belligerent sound and scathing vocal incitement next, the track as raw as it is adversarial. From a relatively underwhelming start, compared to its predecessors anyway with the production less sharp than elsewhere especially around the vocals, the track brews up a punk bred endeavour which soon takes its own specific slice of the emotions. Riffs and hooks almost taunt with their temptation whilst keys and melodies bring a toxicity which flourishes within the punk challenge and a subsequent dub- step enterprise. It is a strong and rigorously convincing track but one which feels pale against the previous tracks and the next up End of an Empire. With a ska seeded jangle of riffs and pungently probing swipes of rhythms aligned to thought challenging vocals, the track toys with band harmonies and floating melodies from the keys to impressive effect before building a climax which fires up the senses with agitated energy and sonic vivacity.

The EP is closed by its title track, arguably the most boldly inventive song on the encounter. Piano and vocals with reflective expression and melodic balladry open up the track before growing a bloom of energetic pop infused incitement which is as catchy as it is surprising. The track reminds of now demised band Dead Til Friday who themselves crafted a spellbinding melodic seduction of a song which startled from the band’s more expected direction. The Karma Party though is not a band to let the listener settle easily, turning the elegant poise and magnetic suasion of their song into a fury driven rabidity to match the attack of the lyrical side of the track. With metallic riffs and badgering beats crowding ears as forcibly as the vocals, the song is a dramatic treat which until its last breath persists in wrong footing and exciting its recipient.

It is a strong and potential loaded shift in the band’s sound, and one which probably takes a little longer to tightly grip than the songs which raged in first release. But with a striking boldness to their growing invention and that ridiculously captivating flair The Karma Party has for igniting everything from ears to feet, imagination to emotions, Illumination is another excuse to hail its creators as one of the UK’s seriously impressive and exciting bands.

Illumination EP is available now digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/id904057478 and physically @ http://thekarmaparty.bigcartel.com/

http://www.thekarmaparty.co.uk/

8.5/10

RingMaster 12/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Unleashing truths: an interview with Merc from The Karma Party

Merc

With a snarl and biting attitude which is spawn by and reflects the state of broken Britain, UK band The Karma Party has emerged as a compelling and inventive force with a musical craft and imagination as potent as the uncompromising yet thoughtful lyrical thoughts and often venom they wield. The quartet brews up a unique and irresistible fusion of hardcore, punk and dub-step with flames of electronica which come together for a fiery storm of thrilling and explosive invention. Their recently released Dark Matters EP has caused a fury of acclaim and attention their way and not wanted to be left in the wake we had the pleasure of talking to vocalist Merc about the outstanding release, the band itself, and what inspires the rage and enterprise which drives them.

Hi Merc, many thanks for taking time out to talk with us here.

No problem, thanks for having us!

For all those new to The Karma Party please introduce the band.

Hello! We are The Karma Party from the derelict holiday resort of Blackpool, nice to make your acquaintance.

How did you all meet and how did the band begin?

Me (Merc) and Luke used to be in another band with James who is now in Sonic Boom Six.

For one reason or another that band fell to pieces, after which James helped me formulate ideas and then bit by bit we assembled what is now The Karma Party.

You hail from Blackpool; is the place as run down and far from its former glory as the media portrays?

It’s worse! I mean, I watched 999 What’s Your Emergency? They went easy on the place. A lot of people come to Blackpool as tourists, which is mind boggling enough. They come to see the lights and drive down the prom unaware that one street away people are living in abject poverty. You can see the weight of the place in people’s faces as you walk around. There is a massive problem with violence and drugs and the only the thing the local authorities want to do is to make it more attractive to the booze tourists and hen nights to bring more revenue into the area, which only perpetuates the substance abuse issues.  Most people in Blackpool don’t care about anything anymore; they have become resigned to that lifestyle and believe it is the norm everywhere. I don’t think there is anywhere else in the country like it. Maybe Morecambe…

…And a place to inspire dissent, anger, and lyrical potency for songs?

It’s impossible not to be inspired in a place like that as there is so much material on your doorstep.

I think Blackpool is like a microcosm for the whole country containing every issue the country has, so definitely a main source for the lyrics.

You create a striking and passion inciting sound from blending punk, dubstep, hardcore, electronica, and more. A fascinatingly eclectic brew brought with passion and attitude I think it is fair to say. How would you describe your sound and what are the major influences musically which have had an effect on your ideas and music?

Thank you! We’re not very good with labels but we’ve been called Punk Step and Punk n Bass which kind of sums up a lot of what we do. There is such a massive eclectic taste amongst the band which allows us to see the similarities between the genres. I don’t think it would work as well if we were all into the same music. We love to watch bands utilising electronics properly as it brings another dynamic to the show. It would be impossible for us not to cite Enter Shikari as an influence and one of our favourite bands. Other artists would include: Bad Brains, Gallows, Mike Patton, Squarepusher, Venetian Snares, Reprazent, The King Blues, Sonic Boom Six, Mouthwash, Skindred, London Electricity, Nero, Rusko, Eminem, Lowkey, Clint Mansell, Danny Elfman, Capdown, NOFX and Chris Murray….I could carry on.

Do you see yourselves as a political band using anthemic music for weaponry or a band creating individual and stirring music which just happens to be inspired lyrically by the injustices of the day?Karma Party

One of the main things we agreed on when we started this project was to keep it as real and true as possible. The public have a way of sniffing out lies and if you pretend to be something you’re not, I believe that they can tell. Although I can’t speak for the rest of the band (as it’s not something we talk about) I’ve never been to a protest or voted, I doubt I ever will as I don’t think either makes a difference as all aspects of the game are rigged. I do want to spend the rest of my life trying to make a difference but I think change has to come from the people. They are the ones who are keeping this system in place. We are a tiny part of a massive universe, there is  no past or future, no good or bad and we could change the world in a heartbeat if we so wished. I want people to know they are not insignificant and they are loved…..including politicians.

If everything was perfect, yes a far-fetched possibility ha-ha, would The Karma Party exist?

If everything was perfect I don’t think I would have ever picked up an instrument or have the mind-set that I do now. The famous quote by Victor Hugo springs to mind; Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters. It’s so true in my case.

You have just released your debut EP, the excellent Dark Matters EP. It is for us a five track eclectic feast of sound and invention not forgetting being greedily infectious. I imagine the songs on the release all find an enthusiastic reaction in your live shows such the impact they make on the EP.

Again thanks for your nice words. We’ve just finished the Dark Matters Tour which was our first time on the road and the response has been overwhelming. The shows have been mental, something we didn’t expect first time out. We’ve put a lot of work in making the live show stand up to the recording and from the reaction it seems to have worked. It was crazy to have people singing the words back at us on our first tour something we didn’t see coming and I’ve been humbled by almost everyone we’ve met.

How has Dark Matters been received so far, especially critically?

From our perspective it was such a personal recording that we couldn’t tell if it was good or bad anymore. We were so involved in it that we’d lost all perspective. It has been received better than we ever expected with mainstream press like Kerrang! and Rock Sound giving us great reviews and blogs and websites all over picking it up.

In all honesty we couldn’t have hoped for a better reaction.

You have released it as a free download opportunity for fans, any particular reason for that?

We want everyone to be able to listen to our music whether you can afford a CD or not. In the band we are shameless streamers, torrenters and file sharers, so for us to be precious over our record when we have “stolen” so many other peoples music would be very hypocritical.

How do songs emerge within the band generally?

It’s a varied process, usually we demo and produce a lot of stuff in our bedrooms and over the internet and then take the ideas into the practice room for fine tuning.

Do lyrics spark songs or musical ideas, or is it a mix?

Tricky question…Musical ideas definitely inspire the lyrics in the demo process and then later the track is re-worked around the lyrics. So I guess it would be a mix.

1616807321-1The release contains your two singles Collapse and This Is Britain, both seemingly gained the tag infamous from a great many. Tell us about both of the powerful and lyrically volatile songs.

This is Britain – You’ve got to laugh at what Britain has become. I find it almost impossible to relate to any facet of mainstream culture. So this is our way of poking fun at what seems to be a ridiculous way of life. From the Royal Family to Ant and Dec, from our drinking culture to gossip magazines and from politicians and police to orange girls with Sharpie eyebrows, I don’t fit in anywhere. I didn’t want to whinge about all this so I tried to put myself in the mind-set of someone who loves modern Britain. It’s so sarcastic we were worried people might take it literally.

Collapse – Collapse is almost like the serious brother of This Is Britain. We wanted to talk about the poverty we see in the country. This recession and depression has been brought on by the government and they continue to shift the blame and show us statistics that say everything is ok but you only need to go out in the street to see how bad it’s getting. We want people to know they are the real power in this country and globally and politicians are counting on you to do nothing about it. Your country needs you and it needs you now.

Would you say This Is Britain has become already your musical calling card, the song people instantly refer to in relation to the band?

I really hope so, I think it’s a fine example of what we want to say and do musically. I think we’ll be playing that track for years to come.

Both songs have impressive videos, with the one for This is Britain like the song especially potent. Who did you record them with?

Thanks! Videos are a massive part of what we want to do. James Kennedy from Trifecta Films in Manchester did the This Is Britain video. We brought him to Blackpool for two days. We shot in our local and took him and his team on a sightseeing tour of the grimiest places in town. We had really good fun.

Some bands find it hard to create contagious songs without diluting the message or impact of the lyrics whilst others just concuss with noise to empower their impacting words. On the evidence of Dark Matters you have found the perfect balance. How much effort goes into your balance of both aspects or is it something which is just instinctive for you?

The rest of the band act as editors for the lyrics so when I’m pushing a point too much or what I’m doing lyrically is impacting on the aesthetics of the track they let me know. It’s sometimes hard for me to hear anything but the lyrics so it helps to have a team who know a good track when they hear it. There is definitely a group editing process.

How much impact do you believe artists and music can truly make on people in regard to social and world issues?

Art in general has the ability to change the world forever; it connects more people than Facebook and brings us together in ways we still don’t properly understand. A lot of people would call me naïve but I think doing nothing, putting your faith in political systems and hoping for the best is naïve.

What is next for The Karma Party?KP

Touring in April, May and June with Random Hand and Anti Vigilante. Playing Rebellion festival in August and we will have more new material / videos out later in the year!

Once more big thanks for chatting with us, any last thoughts for the readers and fans?

No worries thanks for the great questions. The only thing we want to say is a massive thanks to anyone who has given us a listen or come to show you are the reason we do this.

Grab the Dark Matters EP for free @ http://thekarmaparty.co.uk

Read the Dark Matters EP review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/the-karma-party-dark-matters-ep/

The RingMaster Review 28/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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The Karma Party: Dark Matters EP

KP

Standing eye to eye with and snarling viciously at governments, corruption, and the sea of injustices in society and then lyrically ripping their throats out, UK punk-steppers The Karma Party is an emerging force to call foul on the world whilst igniting passions with a fire of irrepressible sounds and electric energy. With debut EP Dark Matters the quartet from Blackpool has set the first aural landmark in their rise towards becoming one of the best incendiary creative confrontations in the country.

Consisting of vocalist Merc, guitarist Scummins, bassist Punkins, and drummer Luke, The Karma Party brews a heady tempest of hardcore, punk and dub-step with flames of electronica burning within the combative storm. It is a distinct sound but take pinches of Sonic Boom Six, King Prawn, Lazy Habits, and the Janice Graham Band with extra spice from Pendulum and you scratch the surface of their invigorating volatile antagonism.

The release takes its first bite with This Is Britain, an attack on the broken country brought with contagion and aggressively 1616807321-1sculpted conciseness. An instant scrub of heavy rhythms and scarring riffs led by the excellent vocals of Merc attach to the ear with a Dead Kennedys like hook entwined around the sinewy core of the track. The song questions and provokes in sound whilst simultaneously challenging with razor sharp lyrics delivered with a bite and accuracy which grips tightly. Melodic keys flame and caress in the skies of the song to add a melodic weave to the muscular senses barracking triumph beneath. As anthemic as you can wish and virulently infectious the song is a dramatic and impressive start.

An opening height easily matched by the following Collapse, the track another insatiably energetic and forceful welcome intrusion on thoughts and passions. From its first breath the song is stomping with purpose through the ear with sonic shots exploding within the brawling energy, openly furthering the already impressive diversity to the imagination of the band. Like all the tracks on the EP, the song is direct and uncompromising but the band ensures that there is a full capture of the listener through heated invention and a delicious maelstrom of ideas and sounds.

Push Forward continues the outstanding conflict whilst expanding the depth and diversity to the songwriting and creativity. Oriental blooms of sounds wrap the ear first to fix attention and intrigue steadfastly before Merc begins the descriptive voice of the track, again a potent statement with unreserved sounds to match. Another punk riot ensues with that oriental seduction continuing to set passions aflame, the song twisting and barging through its purpose with provocative skill and a chorus which resonates with electro pulses. It has an impossibly viral vocal call for which there is no remedy and is proudly another sensational instigator for mind and heart which with its eastern ethnic winds and verbal strength reminds of Asian Dub Foundation at their best.

Completed by They Tell Me, a mesmeric song with drama inspiring keys and sonic mists which stretch across the sound to further the evolving soundscape of the release, and the punk driven defiant riot The Opposition, the EP leaves the listener a churned up and riled force of thought, emotion, and pleasure. Dark Matters is a towering triumph ready to soundtrack and advocate change, something you feel The Karma Party will find an even stronger depth and potency to in the future. A must have release of 2013 which will apply to every year and decade thereafter.

Grab the Dark Matters EP for free @ http://thekarmaparty.co.uk

9/10

RingMaster 05/03/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

www.audioburger.com