ASBURY PARK, NJ—Just to set this up, I was supposed to shoot Karma To Burn at the Continental in NYC, back on Sept. 14, 2001. Well, needless to say that show got canceled. Then they broke up and didn’t get back together until around 2009, and have only toured a little bit here and in Europe, as well as having released the albums Appalachian Incantation and more recently V. So when I saw they were coming to The Saint, I was not missing this show, I don’t care how much it rains.
So I made the trip from PA, and got there so early there was no one even at the club yet. It was then I noticed that The Atomic Bitchwax had jumped on the bill as well. I must confess, I kind of lost track of Bitchwax after guitarist Ed Mundell and drummer Keith Ackerman left the band. So I was very interested to see what they were like now. Holy fucking wow! I pretty much stood there with my jaw dropped for most of their set. Bassist Chris Kosnik I had known from the old line-up, but now with guitarist Finn Ryan and drummer Bob Pantella, I was completely astounded by their set, comprised of what I think was a fair amount of their new record, The Local Fuzz. That’s their 42-minute, 50-riff, one-track new release on Tee Pee Records. If you don’t have it, get it. Don’t ask questions, just get it. All I have to say is: Flawless, amazingly fast, articulate and awesome beyond description. Both the show and the record for that matter.
Okay, so on with the show, right? Finally I get to see Karma To Burn play. They start their set, and I shoot a few pictures. Riffing and grooving through their first few songs, getting my shots out of the way so I can just relax and enjoy it all. It’s all humming along just fine. But I had to run out for a bit to grab a copy of The Local Fuzz from Chris before he left, and we were chatting a few minutes outside when the house music comes on. What!? Karma is done?!? Apparently so. Guitarist Will Mecum was having trouble with his hand and they cut the set short. So hopefully they will come back soon.
I was really digging it, so I’d really like to see a full set. At the very least, I did get some shots, as well an interesting conversation with Will before the show that is up on my podcast page, myshow667.podomatic.com. Karma To Burn is not just a band, they are an adventure!. Thanks to Scott and Maggie at the Saint, and to both bands for talking with me. ROCK IT!