The Karma Party

Illumination EP

Written by: PP on 04/01/2015 23:02:23

No doubt thanks to the multicultural effect of London, Britain has long been a breeding ground for bands testing the waters with unique genre mish-mashes. With 'ragga'-metallers Skindred at the forefront, a wide array of UK bands have demonstrated willingness to explore the electronic and urban music styles in combination with rock and metal in a polar opposite soundscape to the electronic post-hardcore bands across the pond. Where many of the latter bands engage in pure copy/paste song structures that often feel inorganic and fake, the British bands have concentrated on doing the opposite by merging the genres naturally together resulting in truly intriguing and unique dynamics.

One of these bands is The Karma Party from Blackpool, who read Sonic Boom Six guitarist James Routh among their lineup. Their debut EP "Illumination" relies on many of the same elements as both Skindred and Sonic Boom Six do in their sound. That is, plenty of dubstep, urban themes, even reggae-ish nuances at times, to arrive a multicultural, highly unusual soundscape that invites you to circle pit just as much as it solicits groovy dance moves from the crowds in live environments. The band have rightly described their sound as 'punk step' given its high tempo, whilst bass drops, electronic effects bounce off the corners of the soundscape behind a hip-hop style primary vocal delivery. Opener "World War" is an intriguing mesh of so many genres together that it's hard to believe it works, yet it sounds fresh and original in every meaning of those two words. Likewise, "Democracity" is another good example with its chorus that borrows elements from pop punk. It's extremely catchy and leaves a good memory in the mind of the listener.

The lyrics are politically charged throughout. "Under Surveillance", for instance, deals with big brother style privacy issues with plenty of references to the UK culture of placing CCTV cameras literally everywhere in their society. It adds yet another nuance to a multifaceted record that successfully blends together the urban influence with traditional guitar / bass / drums setup. If you liked The Skints and the other bands mentioned in this review, keep an eye on The Karma Party. This is a solid foundational EP that suggests we have a new player on the urbanized rock/metal scene.

Download: Democracity, World War
For the fans of: Skindred, Sonic Boom Six, The Skints
Listen: Facebook

Release date 11.08.2014

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