Photo: KARMA TO BURN/Facebook
This is a post that’s been brewing up to a frothy head for a while now. And it’s mostly because I get waaayyy too entirely ticked-off that this band doesn’t get the kind of recognition that it deserves. If you know about KARMA TO BURN, you know what we’re talking about here. If you’re unfamiliar with KARMA TO BURN…well, get to steppin’.
From around as far as we know, KARMA TO BURN was formed circa 1996 in Morgantown, WV (yes…MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA…home of WVU, Pittsnogle miracles, and flaming couch-fires all over the middle of the god blessed campus).
The band signed a deal with Roadrunner Records in 1996 and were planning to release an entirely instrumental album. But Roadrunner said “no way, ” and insisted that the deal could only be done if the band had a singer (what a pack o’ road running morons).
After running a brief trial with then KYUSS frontman John Garcia, K2B hired a friend of theirs – Jay Jarosz to shred the mic. Their first album, Karma To Burn, was then released in 1997 (it’s unreal). But it ended up not selling well, and the band was “fired” from Roadrunner (and they subsequently decided to fire Jarosz in process).
The band “un-officially” disbanded around mid-2002, and bassist Rich Mullins joined SPEEDEALER (and later in 2008, YEAR LONG DISASTER). K2B original drummer, Rob Oswald, moved on to pound skins with NEBULA. And founding guitarist, Will Mecum, was playing guitar for a band by the name of TREASURE CAT.
WHY WE LOVE KARMA TO BURN
There are a litany of reasons, quite frankly. But here are a few…
- If you are addicted to the riff, you will LOVE K2B (un-godly stoner/metal riff-o-mania GALORE with these guys).
- There is no other band we’ve stumbled upon yet that combines a blend of dark, heavier than holy hail, guitar-laden riff-rock like K2B does. This stuff actually makes you feel like you’re traveling through a god blessed highway mountain full of black coal and proverbial sin for crissake.
- It just sounds evil. Call it desert/stoner metal. Call it “malternative” rock. Call it what you will. But the first album, Karma to Burn, is just filthy. Jay’s vocals and lyrical content combined with the female vocals, licks, and darker than midnight subject matter just nails it (wait’ll you work your way thru to Almost Heathen…sweet lover almighty!).
Just an unbelievable dark-ly written stoner rock record in every way. Some of these songs make me wanna go completely berserk in the middle of the living room, air-guitar break-out, and all. They might even find you making those weird faces and shit with your mouth when it’s fired-up on 450. Seriously.
Crank-up songs like…
- ‘Ma Petite Mort’,
- ‘Appalachian Woman’ (right around minute 1:20…and again around 1:53…and again around 3:24 – magic), and
- ‘Six-Gun Sucker Punch’ (we just wanna know…is it “Lie down and shut-up…” or “The lights shudder…”). It’s minute 1:44 where you’re likely to lose your wig on this one.
And they do a totally wicked JOY DIVISION cover on “Twenty Four Hours.” This album is just completely sick.
This is where the band decided to go totally instrumental. And while we really kinda miss Jay’s vocals/lyrics on this album, there’s something about the band being an entirely instrumental outfit, that we don’t really mind at all, either. UNBELIEVABLE.
This record just kicks tail. Probably my favorite K2B album front-to-back – from their catalog. I don’t know how the band keeps track of its song titles at this point, but this is one of those very few records I own, where you can literally play the sucker straight thru, from beginning to end, and bang your eye-brows off thru each and every song.
This is one of those records that never fails to show-up on a long road trip, especially at night…when you’ve hit “the wall.” When you’re “addicted to the riff” this may be the only album you need, to get you where you need to go. There’s not a single song I can pick-out here as “favorite” as the whole entire record (like WWP) just pretty much needs to be played from beginning to end. LOUD.
SO…WHAT’S UP WITH K2B NOWADAYS?
Well…the great news is that the band seems to have re-united. And if you were lucky enough to catch them on tour opening for THE SWORD last year, you probably got a real nice dose of what this band is all about (frankly, we think K2B should be on tour headlining their own trip…every night…of every day…for the next 475 years).
The band released ‘Appalachian Incantation‘ in 2010, produced by Scott Reeder (KYUSS). The limited edition includes a special bonus CD, featuring guest performances by John Garcia (yeah, that John Garcia) and Daniel Davies (YEAR LONG DISASTER). The band also has a slew of other B-sides, rarities, and live releases. The new album ‘V’ is expected in 2011.
The band recently cut a video for the song ‘Waiting on the Western World’…
The opening Vid for “Cynics” from the album ‘V’…
Thank god these guys are back in black kickin’ tail again. If you like heavy stoner-rock bands like CLUTCH, KYUSS, THE SWORD, THE MELVINS, FU MANCHU, etc. we’ll challenge you not to put K2B up there somewhere in your top favorites list after it’s all said and done.