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Karma-Kannix: Explorations in Inner & Outer Space

With the admirable goal of exploring the diverse elements of progressive music in more user-friendly arrangements, multi-instrumentalists and vocalists Gregg Johns and James Walker have embarked on a musical journey that's fresh and free of pretension. And even though the duo's music isn't exactly "progressive" in the traditional sense of the word, it aims to encompass and accomplish so much more than a typical disc by some faceless Dream Theater or Marillion wannabe.

With mainstream melodies, clear vocals and solid playing, Johns and Walker have found a formula on Explorations in Inner & Outer Space a title, incidentally, that is completely misleading that defies formula. Individually, these guys have spent nearly a quarter-century playing in cover bands around Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, and their classic-rock influences show up all over these 10 original tracks. Few songs even sound like they were recorded by the same band. "Cosmic Irony, " for example, summons Spiders-era David Bowie, while "Rage" invokes the duo's inner Metallica. "Innerspace" begins sounding like Zebra and then morphs into Phil Collins-era Genesis, "Psyche" conjures a psychedelic Ozzy Osbourne before segueing into an upbeat Yes vibe complete with a gonzo keyboard solo, and the Middle-Eastern mood of "Vicious Grass (Slight Return)" recalls Led Zeppelin at its most organic. "Things We Should Have Said (Other Side)" is pure Pink Floyd, and "Looking Over the Edge" is utterly U2, thanks to its wiry riffs.

Explorations in Inner & Outer Space is plagued by production values that vary from track to track and that would mar most other albums. But because this really is a do-it-yourself recording, the fluctuating sonic quality only adds to the disc's charm.

Track Listing:
1) Cosmic Irony (4:44)
2) Innerspace (5:02)
3) Psyche (5:10)
4) Things We Should Have Said (Other Side) (4:56)
5) Hamm-Becker (5:11)
6) Rage (4:20)
7) Vicious Circle (3:32)
8) Looking Over the Edge (4:22)
9) Luv Iz All That Matterz (5:13)
10) Vicious Grass (Slight Return) (3:33)
Total Time: 46:08

Added: November 17th 2004
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Karma-Kannix Web Site
Hits: 2344
Language: english

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