Karma to Burn
Doctor Smoke, The Long Hunt
146 44th Street
Pittsburgh, PA, 15201
Karma to Burn
Karma To Burn's riff-driven, heavily grooving instrumental songs blend almost the entire history of rock music, from the late sixties with their euphoric atmosphere of departure to the present return to handmade, organic music which counteracts with passionate spiritedness the general trend towards cold digital sounds. Even without vocals, Karma To Burn fascinate their listeners from the first to the very last note.
February 2016 saw the arrival of the group’s newest release Mountain Czar on Rodeostar/SPV, and the recording fulfills those criteria. Mountain Czar features the same artistic DNA as all recordings by Karma To Burn since their 1997 debut, but also a number of surprises. As usual, four of the five songs feature numbers instead of regular song titles, namely ´Sixty`, ´Sixty One`, ´Sixty Two` and ´Sixty Three`. One exceptional moment is ´Sixty Three`, a heavy rock song with a mix of Western style and the surf rock feel of the 1950s. Then there’s ´Uccidendo Un Sogno`, a cover track of Tom Petty (RIP) featuring a female vocalist and Italian lyrics.
The album title references the band’s stylistic direction. “Our music used to be referred to as stoner rock although none of us smoke marijuana. Then it was suddenly called desert rock though we come from West Virginia, also called ´The Mountain State`,” says guitarist Willam Mecum. “So we decided on Mountain Czar so people would label us ‘mountain rock’ in the future.”
There are no signs of fatigue in the Karma To Burn camp. “More than 20 years ago, people told me that a purely instrumental band could never work in the long run,” Mecum recalls. “But Karma To Burn are like a boxer with a big heart, amazing stamina and a talent for getting back on his feet again and again.”