REVIEW: Crash Karma – Crash Karma (2010)

CRASH KARMA – Crash Karma (2010 E1 Entertainment)

I wrote a review for this album back in 2010, not so glowing.  For me, the album just sat there.  Even though Crash Karma are made up of members of some of my favourite Canadian bands from the 90’s wave of alterna-hard rock, nothing happened.  I did the review, gave it a middling review and forgot about it.

About six months later, I’ll be damned if the whole thing didn’t just suddenly “click” with me. Rethinking my position, I had to re-write my review.  I think Crash Karma works best after a few listens.

Crash Karma consist of Edwin (ex-I Mother Earth) on lead vocals, guitarist Mike Turner (ex-Our Lady Peace), drummer Jeff Burrows (The Tea Party), and someone named Amir Epstein on bass.  They combine some of the best elements of the bands that spawned them. At first I saw a another faceless post-grunge band rocking past their prime, but now I’m getting it a little more. To the contrary, it sounds like these guys have some ideas to get off their chests. Wracked with Mike Turner’s angular guitar riffage and some mature and pensive lyrics by Edwin, this album rocks. Edwin is singing better than he has in years, pushing the voice to the limits we remember from the heady I Mother Earth prime. Turner is rocking much harder than Our Lady Peace, and much more straightforwardly. Burrows, freed of The Tea Party’s exotic leanings, lays down hard fast fills, recorded expertly by Turner. The result is a collection of songs that combines some of the best elements from the original bands, mixed in with some latter-day Rush.  (Edwin is a veteran of Alex Lifeson’s Victor album.)

Best songs include IME-like “Like A Wave” (the opener), “Awake”, and the furious “Fight”. Another track I begrundingly like is “Lost”, a slow one that sounds a bit too close to Edwin’s solo hit “Alive”. The melodies and vibe are suspiciously alike. However there is no filler on this album. It works better as an album, a single piece, than individual songs. Rather than make a road CD with your favourites on it, this one works as a front-to-back listen.

I still don’t like the cover.  The punk dude makes it look like I’m buying something from fucking Simple Plan or Theory Of a Dead Man.  It’s not like the guys’ faces are all that recognizable, even in Canada. It’s a shame because this album just disappeared. I never heard the tracks on the radio and back in the early 90’s, these guys were the kings of radio. I rarely saw it in the stores, I never saw ads for these guys on tour. It seems that this album will appeal to dudes from the post grunge era, not so much for younger kids.  They did release a second album in 2013, called Rock Musique Deluxe (co-produced by Terry Brown) — but I have not heard it yet.  (Send me a copy, E1, and I’ll be happy to review it!)

Crash Karma:  great musicianship, great songs, very good album.   Check it out.

3.5/5 stars
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22 comments

  1. Man, I am outta the loop, I’m not certain I knew that this existed. I’m glad you were able to re-think your position on it. On paper, it oughta be a great one. As for the cover, don’t worry about the punkers – they’re just fashion victims too, rebelling against things while still looking like a lot of other people… anyway, I’d be more worried about the junkyard. I mean, have they made this album so they can make some bucks and get a better place to stay? It’s a legitimate point…

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  2. I’ll have to check this one out. I just bought a Tea Party album and love it. OLP is a band I really dug when I was younger, but not so much anymore.
    Don’t you hate that when your feelings about an album change after writing a review? It’s not so bad if you don’t write 500 or so words about it, but now I feel like I should go back and say “Well, after a few more listens the new Nine Inch Nails album isn’t total shit.”

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    1. Yeah I do kinda hate that. I’m in a position where I may have to re-write some old reviews (Kiss in particular) because I feel differently now than I did when I first wrote them two years ago.

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      1. Well whatever you do, don’t delete your old ones. Just re-write them and link to the old one too. I know that history books are written by the winners, but it’d be nice to still be able to go back and read the old one and say ‘man was I ever wrong!’ or whatever. So yeah, keep the old one, post up a new re-write to go with your current thoughts and yer golden!

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      1. Oooo I hope it’s Splendor Solis. I just listened to that one again (for probably the millionth time) for review on the KMA. Of course, there’s lot of good ones. Do tell! Do tell!

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        1. That’s actually my least favourite of theirs…I didn’t like it when they started experimenting with the electronics. But it does have some killer songs such as Release and Temptation.

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        2. I’m loving it so far. “Temptation” was my favorite song of theirs so that’s why I went with that album. I really haven’t heard a whole lot of their stuff. They we never very big in the US.
          And now I have to ask: What album is your favorite?

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        3. Oh that’s easy Zack. Do you like Zeppelin? Then check out their second album, The Edges of Twilight. In my opinion they sought to out-Zeppelin Zeppelin on that record. They filled it with every exotic instrument they could find.

          Check out the single Fire In The Head.

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        4. I’m not a huge fan of Zeppelin. They’re one of those bands that I liked a lot more in my younger days, but after listening to rock radio for a few years I’ve heard enough. This song is pretty cool though. I’ll definitely check out the album.

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        5. OK, let me switch gears then. Another favourite album of mine was The Interzone Mantras. Let me put up a track from that album. This one is pretty awesome.

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        6. OK, I think I like that one a bit more. Eventually I may have both albums, but I might go for this one next.

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  3. Yeah this one is a good record…I always dug Edwin even back in his IME days when he was fronting the band and he looked like he was on another orbit..but man the dude is talented.
    They played here in Tbay should have checked it out but I dropped the ball on it..
    Damn…

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  4. I was intrigued by this one but never got around to checking out the album – glad to hear it worked after a few spins.

    I hadn’t realized there was the Tea Party connection as well – if you take the first two OLPs, first two IMEs, first two Tea Party records and as you say add a bit of Rush flavour, that sounds about right!

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    1. For me I’m a first-album-only kind of guy with IME and OLP. Don’t like the second albums at all. For OLP I don’t think I even have the second album.

      Tea Party though, I like a lot of their stuff, right to the end of the band.

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      1. Interesting – not even scenery & fish? I found Clumsy hit and miss, but I suppose because Another Sunday was my gateway IME tune that album will always be viewed favourably in my books.

        Nice call on The Tea Party attempting to out zep Zep on the Edges of Twilight by the way!

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        1. Don’t like Scenery & Fish. Don’t like Clumsy. I was very excited about the first albums from both bands and then I felt the second albums wimped out.

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