donderdag 2 juli 2015

Catching Echoes EP. King Karoshi

So King Karoshi throws us a Rorschach test with the cover of his new EP. And what do you see, dear reader? A ghost, a pelvis, a goat, the devil, a vulva, a dog, a rat, the pointing finger of former Dutch prime minister Joop den Uijl, flowers, a ...???? It's all there and more. I could go on for a while. Let me know what you see, as this is fun. Now you want to know what I saw first. A lot of purple and a little green, to be honest. After that I started looking.

Of course this EP is about the music that is on it and not the art work, but interesting artwork deserves attention.

King Karoshi, the band from Montreal, Canada, was on this blog earlier this year after Natalie Ramsay tipped me about a friend she used to play with before she left Montreal. 'Laundry', released just over a year ago, received a favourable review (read here: but was not a spectacular EP. Neither is Catching Echoes, but only because the music isn't "spectacular". Something is going on here that points at a band in transition. Following the trail someone like Patrick Watson is travelling, but also the voice of Alexei Wajchman of the Blind Willies is not far away. Yes, this means that King Karoshi has not found it's own voice yet. No, it does not mean Catching Echoes is not interesting. I'd say far from.

Rémi Denis (lead guitar, lack-up vocals ); Patrick Dunphy (lead vocals, rhythm guitar); Alexy Guérer ( drums, back-up vocals) and Antoine Poliquin (bass, back-up vocal) have made a four song EP that holds some mystery. Where 'Laundry' was guitar and indie rock oriented, Catching Echoes moves away from there. After the opening song, that is relatively close to the final song on 'Laundy', 'So Little Time', King Karoshi moves into a more dreamy musical world. A less electrical guitar oriented one.

That doesn't mean that electric is out. No it's the rock riffs that were thrown out with the bath water of the laundry. That is the moment that King Karoshi reminds me of Blind Willies. 'In Her Eyes' plays itself out in a beautiful way. The song is a little hesitant in its rhythm, but starts playing with harmonies and subtle 'aaahhhs'. Becoming more interesting by the 30 seconds passing.Here are the moments that it shows that all band members can at least sing harmonies. After that there's no looking back.

The title song winds down even more. Cymbals rushing. In my opinion it is in this song that King Karoshi is really coming into its strength. Patrick Dunphy is singing great here, this is his voice, I'm sure of it and the band plays and sings the harmonies around him in an utterly relaxed way. 'Catching Echoes' is a beautiful song. The best I've heard of the band to date. And if King Karoshi can come up with one song like this, there will be more to come in the future.

Final song 'Here's To Us' already proves this point. The atmosphere is wound down again as the band moves toward the atmospheric pop and rock of Patrick Watson. If this is King Karoshi's strength it takes the hard road. How does it get an audience to shut up when playing so soft and delicate? Where I'm concerned this is beautiful. King Karoshi is growing and I for one am certainly interested in finding out where to.


You can listen to Catching Echoes here:

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