Review Roundup: Karma To Burn/S.O.S./Gripe

Karma To Burn
V

Napalm

Since reforming, stoner rock legends Karma To Burn haven’t really gotten any flowing momentum to get them back to where they were before they originally split, although ‘Appalachian Incantation’ was an impressive album and among my favourites of 2010. Unfortunately, the aptly named fifth album ‘V’ is a little flat. There’s not much in the way of memorable riffage, although ‘Fifty’ and ‘Fifty-One’ are great desert rock stompers that will get the toes tapping and the heads nodding, but other than that, it’s severely lacking impact, and the vocal tracks, particularly ‘The Cynic’, don’t fit in very well, although the cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘Never Say Die’ right at the end is faithful at the very least and provides an uplifting finish. The inescapable fact, however, is that their very best days were left behind a long time ago.

S.O.S.
I Owe You Nothing
Good Fight
S.O.S. is a new hardcore supergroup of sorts, featuring Terror’s Scott Vogel on vocals, and additionally including members of Hatebreed, Agnostic Front and Trapped Under Ice. Debut release ‘I Owe You Nothing’ is a riotous romp through 7 tracks of traditional American hardcore that’s sure to instigate a few circle pits and beatdowns. The fast parts are fast and indeed furious, and the ventures into traditionally hardcore mosh territory are satisfying indeed, particularly ‘Never A Brother’. At roughly 10 minutes long it doesn’t last long at all, and collectively these guys aren’t making anything drastically different from their main concerns. That said, it’s an enjoyable blast and worth a few listens.
Gripe
The Future Doesn’t Need You
Grindcore Karaoke

Finally, we have a slab of raging, grinding powerviolence that kicks some serious ass. Gripe’s ‘The Future Doesn’t Need You’ contains 10 brutally harsh tracks. They keep it interesting through – not every track is a 30-second blast – songs are allowed to flourish, allowing for deviation in the riffs, the tempo and more. As a result, it kicks ass all the way through. The final track here, entitled ‘Universal Stupidity’, pretty much sums up the way Gripe set up their stall – in one way, and one way only – to smash some heads in. And with a closing lyric such as ‘Gripe wins!’, you can’t really argue.

As with every Grindcore Karaoke release, it’s a free download. So what are you waiting for? Get over there and discover for yourself this exciting new band.
Peter Clegg
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