Be prepared America, the invasion is about to start. Australia is trying to take the country by storm. First they send the preliminary forces called AC/DC. These guys laid siege to the airwaves and paved the way for the all out assault that is about to be bestowed upon this unsuspecting nation.
Four lads from the land down under are getting ready to drop a bomb upon us whose impact will be felt from coast to coast. There will not be a soul able to resist the power and raw talent of the band called Strange Karma!
From the opening guitar that introduces the band to Martin Strange's first vocals that scream America, you are being warned that they are on their way. The next thought to cross your mind will be that Robert Plant changed his mind and Led Zeppelin is recording under a different name. Martin's vocals will send chills down your back as you will envision the ghost of what might have been if those Zeppelin guys decided to do it one more time. There is one striking difference though, Martin has a much broader range and when using a normal singing voice he has a much more dramatic sound then that Plant guy. There is a vibrato quality that is pure dynamite to his singing. The closest I could think of is Ed Roland of Collective Soul. Now, put those two vocalists together and imagine the possibilities! Wonder no more. You have this wonderful combination of styles presented here in striking fashion.
But Martin is not the only member of this band. Martin's brother Paul is going to set some people on their ear with his guitar ability. He is no slouch and as a matter of fact, he gives you some very terrific fret work! I really like what he does on the great piece of metal called "Storm". High energy rock and roll is what this one is all about and Paul delivers in spades! Loud and proud, this is a great bit of arena type rock and he supplies the anthem like soundtrack. Paul is just as adapt throughout the musical territories that are covered on this multi genre covering album. He is just as much at home when they give you a bluesy bit or even when it comes time for an acoustic. Make no mistake though, he has metal in the heart and you as the listener benefit from this fact.
Jody Daley on bass and Jason McDonald on drums is the rhythm section that keeps all on the straight and narrow. These two work so well together it is a pair that will once again having you thinking of that Led something band. Jody sometimes comes to the forefront like on the killer song "Fame". His bass work and Jason's fine stick work are the driving force behind this song. They combine so well it's scary just how good they function together and also how tight this band seems to be all the way around.
Another aspect to this group is that Martin can step behind the keyboards and give you a whole different perspective. There is a truly special piece on here called "Time" where they use the piano and orchestration to enhance this superior melody. This song does remind me of Collective Soul. It has that blend of melody with the metal edge that is amazing. I love it!!
It would be easy to write this band off as just another Zeppelin clone but that would be a sad mistake. You can't fault someone just because he has the same vocal qualities as one of the best singers on the planet. You also can't fault a group for taking the best aspects of their influences and using that as the mold to shape their own sound. These guys are the real deal. As I stare into my crystal ball, I see a great future ahead for these guys. As a debut album, this has the feel of a band already at the top of their game. The problem they will have is topping it with their next offering!!
2. Down and Out
6. Harder Than A Stone
8. Young and Free
9. Mind Games
10. Indian Sun