|Karma Cowboys – ‘Shake It’ (Target Records)|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Thursday, 29 April 2010 05:00|
This debut album from Danish four piece Karma Cowboys comes with a sticker on its cover proudly proclaiming it to contain music "for fans of kick ass rock n roll with a Scandinavian flavour."
Now that tasty sound bite certainly had me interested, as it pretty much ticks all my prerequisites for an Über approved album, and on first play I have to say I was tapping my foot along like some outcast from the 'White Nights' film cast.
Indeed such is the sonic force that the band have managed to cram into the twelve tracks that make up 'Shake It', you'd be forgiven for thinking this was in fact a HUGE budget production/major label release, not one self produced over two recording studios (after the first one burnt down) and released on a independent label.
However, it was after a few listens that I started to get the feeling that something was creeping up on me each time I put 'Shake It' in my CD Player, and lo and behold there it was, the shadow of the band's melting pot of influences, which sadly started to put a dampener on proceedings with each new spin. Each time I found myself playing 'spot the influence' with somewhat gay abandon. Kicking off with album opener 'Bad TV' you have AC/DC, then you move onto 'Slammed Shut' and you get Queens Of The Stone Age, before 'Chant No 1' makes you remember a certain David Essex tune also covered by Def Leppard, whilst album closer 'Take Me' is Soundgarden mixed with Pearl Jam. There was even a point where I thought "God that's Zico Chain", but that would be impossible... right?
Don't get me wrong, the tracks are all well played and performed impeccably, it's just this amalgam of influences makes it difficult to hear exactly what it is Karma Cowboys have to offer themselves. When they do sound vibrant and 'themselves' it's on tracks like 'Shine On Tomorrow' and my personal favourite 'Wishing Well' where the song writing really is up there with some of the best outputs from their heroes, but without sounding like them. It is also worth mentioning that lead singer Thomas Klovn Carlsen really has a fine set of pipes on him, similar in range to say Chris Cornell but with a bit of Conny Bloom's bluesy lilt thrown in.
Karma Cowboys look cool, they have cool merchandise you can buy at their upcoming shows with Deep Purple and Mustasch, and if you love the bands I've mentioned above and fancy hearing some great new(ish) sounding classic rock, then 'Shake It' is for you.
Me, I'm haunted by too many ghosts of classic rock years past to give this a full thumbs up. Sorry guys.