2010 E1 Music
This review is long overdue (as are several others that are forthcoming), as this disc was released in March – though not here in America.
Dr. Paulo (see Abysmal Designations) and I have this affinity for Canadian rock bands and have for over 10 years now, from The Tea Party to Tricky Woo, I Mother Earth to Danko Jones, Our Lady Peace to…well you get the idea. Only figures I’d be diggin’ this Canadian…gulp…supergroup featuring members of three of the aforementioned bands.
As I mentioned when I wrote about Them Crooked Vultures, I usually avoid “supergroups” like the plague. They rarely live up to the hype and, more often than not, are disappointing. As I also mentioned with Them Crooked Vultures, there are exceptions. As with TCV, Crash Karma is another one of those exceptions.
Crash Karma is made up of Edwin (vox/ex-I Mother Earth), Mike Turner (guitar/ex-Our Lady Peace), Jeff Burrows (drums/ex-Tea Party/10 Most Truly Abysmal Drummers), Amir Epstein (bass/ex-Zygote). The more I listen to this disc, the more I love it because it really does combine what I believe are distinctive elements from their individual ex-bands…starting with Edwin’s distinctive pipes. An immediately identifiable voice.
The disc kicks off with a song called “Like A Wave,” which is perfectly fitting for a disc whose sound just truly washes over you with unbelievable positive and empowering energy: “Feeling like a wave…so uplifted and free.” And there’s more where that came from:
“Let the light within you shine. Close your eyes, but not your mind.” (Energy)
“Next life I hope that I am seen as a freak by the freaks.” (Next Life)
“There’s nothing to be frightened of. Rise above, we’re finally awake.” (Awake)
Nearly every song has a line that just hits home with me. Maybe it’s because of my own personal situation, maybe it’s because these are words we all can identify with. I don’t know. What I do know is that without good melody and hooks, even the best words fall on deaf ears. Hooks, texture, variety and depth are all over this disc.
Jeff Burrows superb power and finesse drives every song, but I’m quite taken with his nuances and groove on “Lost” in particular. Mike Turner’s guitar crunches when it needs to, and shows a lot of depth and texture from twang to flange…often within the same song, as in “The Fire.” My apologies to Amir Epstein, as I’m not familiar with his ex-band Zygote. Doesn’t really matter, though, because he’s a slammin’ bassist here. As with Burrows and Turner, he combines power and finesse effortlessly and some of his melody lines just really cut through in the best possible way.
If you’re familiar with any of the members’ previous bands, you can take comfort in the fact that there will be some familiarity when you listen to this disc…particularly OLP and early IME. They never sound like a rehash of any of the bands, however, and the songwriting is just excellent and at times majestic as on the chorus of “Man I Used To Be.”
Chemistry cannot be bought. These guys have chemistry. I believe it’s because they just truly want to make music, and it shows throughout this debut. Please show the dudes some love and visit their website…and buy this CD! You’ll be better for it:) Also check out their vid for “Fight” by clicking here.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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