The Karma Party: Dark Matters EP


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.

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RingMaster 05/03/2013

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Janice Graham Band: Assassiner

Sometimes you just have to kick yourself at being so slow to discover certain bands whilst the mystery as to why is a frustration hard to erase but made up for with insatiable energy. Such is the case with the Janice Graham Band. The young band from Manchester has been pulling in great acclaim all year at the very least but it is with the release of their new single Assassiner that our introduction is made and as they say, better late than never.

The single is immense, a refreshing and ingenious song which is bursting with imagination and uniqueness from the heart of their musical home city and British eclectic invention as a whole. The song is a piece of brilliance, a wanton and wicked first meeting for all newcomers and the continuation of what came before for existing fans from their strongly and eagerly received debut album It´s Not Me earlier this year. The young quartet, averaging 21 years of age, have thrilled and earned nothing but impressive responses for their live shows along with their previous release. Now with the new single through Acid Jazz Records and taken from their forthcoming album, one can only expect the horizon, near and far, to be burning with big things for the band. All this from hearing one song you say…yes but what a song.

     Assassiner is stunning, a mesmeric and enrapturing piece of composition and imagination. It is a mesh of rhythms, textures and sound brought through a filter of ska, jazz, rock, hip hop, punk and more. Think Sonic Boom Six, Cypress Hill, Wu Tang Clan, Arctic Monkeys, The Specials, and nineties band Honky and you get a flavour of the quite delicious treat awaiting within the song. From its opening brewing breath around a throbbing pulse soon joined by a dark velvet bass croon, the song instantly draws full attention and lip licking anticipation. Bassist and vocalist Joe Jones prods and probes the senses with his accent driven swagger and lyrical sharing, aided perfectly by drummer Tom Scott and trumpeter Josh Hunt, whilst the guitar of Andy Morton is a shimmering heated and sinister breath amongst the dub heartbeats and electronic whispers, the sounds of Hunt bringing further character and atmosphere to the shadowed presence.

The song is a powerful and irresistible companion with a haunting yet hypnotic ambience wrapping its feisty and attitude lined masterful invention. It is rare to be stopped in ones tracks by anything these days, something which ignites emotions barely inspired by music today but the Janice Graham Band do it with ease. If you are looking for truly skilled originality and natural imagination then these inspiring young bucks will easily and fully feed your desires and more, just go and bask in their ingenuity.

RingMaster 16/09/2012

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