STRANGE KARMA - Cold Blooded

September 26, 2017, a month ago

(Independent)

Kelley Simms

Rating: 7.0

review hard rock strange karma

STRANGE KARMA - Cold Blooded

Australian rockers, Strange Karma, is back with a dose of vintage-yet-modern rock ’n’ roll on its sophomore full-length release, Cold Blooded. Cold Blooded is a high-energy trip down ’70s rock memory lane, decorated with elements of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Queen (especially the melodic piano arrangements). The ten accessible tracks fit into today’s commercial, radio-friendly atmosphere, yet the music is edgy enough to keep the kids rocking. Plus, it’s a bold move to release the album only on vinyl.

Side A opens with “Freedom,” which possesses a Led Zeppelin-laden guitar melody decorated with a bluesy, Rolling Stones-ish feel. However, it’s not indicative of what Strange Karma are all about. That would be the job of the catchy follow-up track and first single “Devil From The Moon.” On this track, the band delivers surging guitar riffs, pulsating bass lines and a bouncy drum beat with a slight hint of The Cult. “Crying For Your Love” is decorated with a swirling, classical piano pattern and melodic guitar leads in a Queen-like manner or a modern Savatage flavor. However, I believe the vocals will make it or break it for some listeners. Martin Strange is a good vocalist with a raspy, Robert Plant-esque wail with a touch of Kingdom Come’s Lenny Wolf, but his over pronunciation and wavering notes — especially on the title track — are too over the top, and a little too sappy on “I Believe (London Town).” However, eight-plus minute album closer “Dreams” ends well with a cool piano arrangement with a grandiose delivery reminiscent of Queen. Cold Blooded is a pleasingly diverse and versatile record guaranteed to raise Strange Karma’s stock, especially in North America.

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