Feel the Burn.
Posters, flyers, and many drunken pictures I have taken.
There are many things I enjoy in life, but there are few things that tap directly into some of my most primal of instincts, one of those things is Karma to Burn. Growing up in Fairmont, I spent many of my formative years seeing shows in Morgantown, since Fairmont's music scene was, and still is, pretty much nonexistent. We would all pile up into whomever's parents would lend us the car and head up to see countless local bands such as Karma to Burn, Law Biting Citizens, Circle Six, Draegerman, Brake Theory, 7X, UK, and many others that are slipping my mind. K2B were hands down my favorite, they had that raw dangerous rock n' roll edge and they truly were the perfect soundtrack for traveling down that dark psychotropic highway that my mind always seem to be barreling down. It amazed me and filled me with pride that they were a local band, they truly seemed to transcend, yet perfectly embody WV all at the same time. They were a great inspiration to a young and confused angry teen scratching pictures of skulls and Satan into his notebooks (and it turns out that not much has changed haha). Over the years, they are the band that I still consistently listen to from that era.
Even though they were originally an instrumental band, they released a self titled album on Roadrunner with a singer, and it kinda confused people. Old fans of the instrumental stuff, hated it, and new fans were confused to find out that they were an instrumental band after they got rid of the singer. There's was also the camp of people that I fell into, which thoroughly enjoyed both endeavors. The self titled was just so dark, that there just isn't much other way to describe it, and I relished every bit of it. That being said, it was nice to see them return to the instrumental form on the next two albums. Sadly like many great groups, eventually turmoil and addiction tore the band to pieces. Last time I saw them pre-break up was with Clutch at 123 Pleasant Street (which may have still been the Nyabinghi at that point). Neil Fallon came out and performed ZZ Top's La Grange with them, which totally blew my shit. I had no idea that would be the last time for years to come, but at least it was a lasting memory.
So then we fast forward a few years. After a few stops along the way for everyone involved; Will was now playing with the fantastic Treasure Cat, Rich had met Daniel Davies and started the formidable Year Long Disaster, and Rob Oswald played with Nebula, and I had moved to Huntington. After deciding to finally making a go of trying to pimp out my art services, I came into contact with Treasure Cat and began designing and printing t-shirts and other things for them. Even though I hate to compare the two bands, because they are both great in their own rights, it helped to fill the void of no K2B. Conversations with Will led me to believe there would never be any chance of a reunion, as you could tell it was still kind of a sore subject. Nevertheless, hell finally froze over, pride was swallowed and a reunion tour finally scheduled to take place. The band set out to show that not only had they reconnected but now had matured and were tighter than ever.
I have to say that I pretty much shit my draws when I got the chance to do not only one poster for their reunion tour, but 4. I did a series of 3 screenprinted posters for their WV dates, and a digital for a show in England with Sons of Alpha Centauri. I also would do another flyer for a Halloween show at The V Club, and ended up doing 3 more flyers for their current tour with Year Long Disaster. I badly wanted to screenprint these, but I have yet to get my equipment set up after moving in the winter. I love doing posters for them, it really gives me a chance to use imagery that I'm really in tune with such as the occult, evil looking anthropomorphized humanimal hybrids, and just an overall dark and menacing vibe. It's nice to play off of the vibes set forth by some of their art done by others, as subjects such the Goataneer really symbolize the music for me. Some of the things I've done for them definitely plays directly off of this, but I've also tried to add my own flavor in there as well and I didn't want to do a bunch of half-assed crap. That's the great thing is that they can totally work with images of evil preachers, goat headed mountaineers, or apocalyptic visions of a burning London. Their music truly stands on its own, but I always believed their fantastical dark album and merch art really helped to elevate the overall awesomeness of the band and I enjoy just being able to add to that visual lexicon.
On a personal level it feels like my life has come full circle in some ways from being that teenager who was frothing at the mouth to see such amazing music, seeing the band break up, and then seeing them reunite and being able to work with them on top of it.
Their new album art is no exception of excellence set forth on their previous albums, and after listening to it for a couple months (it will rock your stool loose by the way), I'm completely psyched up for these couple shows with YLD and Suede Brothers. The new album covers some known territory, but shows a lot of growth in the small handful of songs. The bonus disc of rare tracks and rerecordings is a nice touch. I'm excited to see what Daniel Davies brings to the table in his part of the live show, as Waiting on the Western World is a pretty mean ass song that is just begging to send crowds into a frenzy. All of it is pretty exciting in ushering in what appears to be a new era of Karma to Burn.
So get the new album, carve a bunnygram into your kitchen floor, and Hail Satan.
(ed. note: Check out more of Jimbo's art on his Amalgam Unlimited MySpace and Big Cartel sites, and our "Focus on the Flyers" split feature on Jimbo)
Posted by Jimbo