Karma To Burn – Mountain Czar



Review by Rick Ossian

amazon_badgeThis may be the single shortest review I’ve ever submitted.  If you’re curious as to why, by all means, keep reading if you dare!  Karma To Burn are three chaps from Morgantown, West Virginia, and they are William Mecum on guitar, Eric Von Clutter on bass and Evan Devine on drums.  I would imagine that their music could best be described as Heavy instrumental Rock mixed with Metal – instru-metal, if you will (personally, I call it Stoner Metal! – Ed).  It will make you want to get up and dance, because the rhythms and the tempos are so invigorating.


Yes, theirs is a heavy, heads-down boogie sort of sound.  They call it ‘uncompromising’.  This is most perfectly illustrated with the opener, Sixty-Two.  Confused?  Join the club, it is a great place to be.  Most of their song titles are actually numbers (Will Mecum explained that to me when I interviewed him in one of the early Wyrd Ways Rock Shows – don’t ask me which one! – Ed) .  By the by, there is a video for this one:

I was reminded of Fleetwood Mac‘s Oh, Well when I first heard it.  There is some good shifting going on here, and some killer drumming to boot.  You will find more of the same on the other tracks.

Sixty-one is another heavy-as-fuck, Riff City barnburner.  It is a heavy get-down kind of boogie, somewhat akin to, say, Foghat or Status Quo, only minus the vocals and give them some steroids.  Get the picture?  At about two minutes in we get a nice shift to a Sabbath-style tempo, and then the different rhythms cease – but only for a moment.


Sixty is another number brought to you by the folks at Riff City, and reminded me slightly of Bon Scott-era AC/DC – sans the vocals, of course.  At 2:20 we get a lovely guitar solo, which up until this point we didn’t have, because everything was just heavy rhythms plowing into our brains.  A welcome change, nonetheless.

The next track, Uccidendo Un Sogno, is actually a cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Runnin’ Down a Dream track.  You could have blown me over with a feather with that news, because I was not expecting that at all.  This track, by the way, is sung by Italian vocalist Stefanie Savy, and features an excellent guitar solo outro by none other than Manuel Blissing of Sons of Morpheus.

The closing number for this recording, naturally, is Sixty-Three.  Get used to it, nothing makes much sense in the land of K2B, except for one thing; these blokes know how to ROCK!  There is a vocal FX intro on this number, and it sounds deceptively like a young Jack Palance in a Western film.  Some nice riffing at the outset.  It is a bit mellow at first, but then there is a building, pounding crescendo of drums and bass and guitar and just generally noisy rock.  It is a rolling boogie, if you will.  At the three-and-a-half minute mark, we get a shift to a different riff (tongue-twister time!), and it is always refreshing to hear a bit of that!

By the way, something we should note.  When asked about genres, William Mecum said that “first we were called stoner rock, which we found strange because none of us smoked weed.  Then we were called desert rock, which made no sense because we live in the mountains (Appalachians).  That’s why we titled the record like we did.  Maybe we will come to be known as ‘mountain rock’!”

Verdict: 7/10

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