Karkamanic – In A Perfect World

Categories: Reviews
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Published on: August 7, 2011

Yet another band I’ve never heard of.

But this one are a bit bonkers and I think I love them for it.

Karmakanic mastermind / bassist Jonas Reingold appears to want to throw everything including the kitchen sink into In a Perfect World, the fourth album of his side project and I have no hesitation in saying it absolutely works.

The monster opening track, 1969, starts with some lovely piano, strings and guitar before going full on proggy. There’s a bit of Saga in there, but to be honest there’s a bit of everything. There’s even a bit of Kayak…let’s see how many of you get that reference.

There’s a keyboard break that sounds like Rainbow from the mid-70s and then a sequence that reminds you of Yes. Its all here. But it doesn’t come across as a rip-off, it comes off as an affectionate tribute to all the bands that Reingold clearly loves.

Second track Turn It Up has a cheery cum cheesy chorus a la Asia 25 years ago but in the context of this album that’s not remotely a bad thing. It goes on a bit but hey, its such a fun tune it would be churlish to criticise.

Third track The World Is Caving In brings a slightly too earnest lyric but offers some raunchy guitar work as a counter balance. In my world, everything is forgiven by a meaty guitar.

Track 4 Can’t Take It With You starts with a samba rhythm and then brings in some crunchy guitar and bizarrely they work well together. The whole thing is a bit quirky but like everything on this remarkable album it just works. Actually, forget I said quirky. This track in particular is gloriously bonkers.

There’s Nothing Wrong With The World is the least immediately appealing track so far, probably because its the one with the most obvious jazz leanings but it does have some fancy playing on it. Even a very Lifeson-like guitar solo, which is just showing off.

Track 6 Bite the Grit is a weird mix of 70s pop hit and modern prog metal while the final track When Fear Came To Town starts with earnest vocals over acoustic guitar and then continues like that for most of its nine minutes. Its an understated end to an album that has simply been anything but understated.

I actually didn’t know there were bands still making music like this – its like punk never happened – but the smorgasbord of delights on In A Perfect World mean Reingold can be justifiably proud of the album he and his bandmates have made.

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