Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
Like Seeing the Northern Lights blazing across the sky for the very first time, some things just take your breath away and transport you to another world.
The Karma Effect have achieved this feat, their stylish and propulsive take on classic 70’s blues rock immediately taking you back to those heady, celebratory days.
The London quintet are soaked in the free-flowing vibe that was born out of the psychedelic late Sixties and toughened up the following decade, the whisky dipped and loose-limbed swagger here in no uncertain terms.
Led by singer Henry Gottelier, the band have captured the same goodtime feel that has made Thunder the British institution they are, mixing it with the Southern gospel tinges of The Black Crowes to great effect on opener ‘Steal Your Heart’.
With its free-flowing mile-wide-grin solo by guitarist Robbie Blake backed with Seb Emmins’s tickling ivories throughout, it’s impossible not to move your body and sets you up for what’s to come.
The band bring the funk with the stuttering swagger of ‘Don’t Think She’s Coming Back’, the female backing vocals and deep groove provided by drummer Ask Powell and the bass of Liam Quinn adding up to a quietly assured monster.
This feel continues on ‘Mercy’, highlighting the bluesy howl of Gottelier as the life affirming and joyous noise peels out of the speakers before huge ballad ‘Stand’ brings the halfway point to an epic and genuinely show stopping highlight of this debut.
Heating up again, a barnstorming ‘Wrong Again’ tears the roof off and hard rocking ‘The River’ and effortlessly cool ‘Testify’ slam the point home.
It’s just down to the slow burning and slinky ‘Save Me’ to seal the deal, it’s cascading keys and heartfelt vocals finishing the record with another emotional high. Considering the band have only been together for less than two years, theirs is a remarkable assurance and this classy and soulful first album points to a very bright future indeed.
Head down to the river and soak yourselves in the river as you’re reborn by The Karma Effect.