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Karmamoi - Odd Trip CD (album) cover




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3.28 | 24 ratings

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3 stars Italian band KARMAMOI was formed back in 2008, and released their self-titled debut album three years later. An EP followed in 2012, and then they released their second full length studio production "Odd Trip" in 2013, their most recent album at the time of writing.

"Odd Trip" is a fairly appropriate name for this production, as it is a bit of a roller coaster ride in terms of listener experience. While the opening atmospheric piece Oxygen 1 actually works fairly well, later on two shorter atmospheric interludes named Oxygen 2 and Oxygen 3 comes across as filler material more than anything else. There's a single ballad at hand, Lost Days, which doesn't do all that much for me either. The rest of this album is a tad more interesting however.

Initially you get to experience a band that plays around with electronic effects and a subtle cosmic vibe used in contexts with alternating metal-tinged riffs and more delicate sections, frequently with excursions to sequences sporting firmer, compact guitar details. While initially appearing a tad chaotic and not all that well developed, the songs keep improving as this album unfolds and an association to a band like Porcupine Tree starts solidifying soon enough. Karmamoi does explore a style of music that makes associations to that band inevitable, and by fourth track If I Think of the Sea they manage to combine the different elements in a manner that makes them compelling rather than pleasant or interesting too.

A bit later the band throws in some additional traits however, starting with the song Yours and continued on title track Odd Trip, stronger references to US/UK band Garbage (UK singer, US band, based in the US) starts appearing. Vibrant, compact guitar and electronics arrangements rather similar in approach and construction to the type of material Garbage created in their heyday. That Karmamoi employs a female lead vocalist gives a certain emphasis to that association presumably.

Later on 5+ revisits a more Porcupine Tree oriented landscape again, prior to the concluding composition Aria. For me this particular song comes across as the highlight of this album, mostly because this is a song that manage to successfully blend the themes with similarities to Garbage with the ones that have more of a Porcupine Tree tinge to them. The combination of those two styles works really well, and personally I hope that Karmamoi will continue in a similar vein as that one as at least for me that was the most compelling experience on this disc.

While I found this album overall to be a tad uneven, there's a fair share of truly intriguing compositions on this album as well. While I guess that fans of indie and alternative rock in general might take an interest in this production, I suspect that they will find their main audience amongst those that have albums by bands such as Garbage and Porcupine Tree side by side in their music collection. Those who recognize themselves in that description should consider giving this album a spin.

Windhawk | 3/5 |


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