Music Reviews

Earthbound Smoke Ghost

Karma’s Grave


Ever wonder what early Clutch, The Ethereal Mirror-era Cathedral, latter-day Alice in Chains, and pre-Columbia Obsessed would sound like if they were all mashed together? Earthbound Smoke Ghost have, and decided to prove this out by recording Karma’s Grave. Their self-released debut as such, Karma’s Grave finds this Staten Island quartet locating the floss-fine line between groove-heavy doom and doom-heavy groove, with the five-song/31-minute outcome remaining adamantly heavy, and right, doomy and groovy. Kinda space-rockin’ in a vaguely Monster Magnet-gone-AWOL way, but much too manic depressive to dwell within those (neighbor-less) boundaries, Karma’s Grave’s influences are easily identifiable (see above), yet integrated so thoroughly, so seamlessly, so chemically addled, that a whole new sound • idiom, if you will • arises like a phoenix from the flames of complacency (more like ashes). And the vocals of Middle East-born frontman Pheroze Karai? Another idiom unto itself: Usually harmonic, usually haunting, just plain odd all the while, Karai’s larynx lamentations cull from the best idiosyncrasies of Glenn Danzig and Cathedral’s Lee Dorrian alike, nodding here and there to the tough-to-tackle inflections of Chains’ Layne Staley; again, odd, and none-more-fitting for a record equally not-of-this-earth. Fork out yer cash now, mates • these are some of the most far-out sounds you’ll find this year.

Earthbound Smoke Ghost, 23 Urban St., Staten Island, NY 10304;

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