Birmingham’s very own Alunah are very much the go-to band when a well-known stoner group comes to town. It’s easy to see why. Their down tuned Sabbath type grooves have been honed over the years, and songs such the title track of their most recent album “White Hoarhound” arguably deserve a bigger stage. Since we last saw the band in January – when perhaps predictably they opened for The Sword in January – they have undergone a line up change. Tonight is their first show with their new bass player and not even some initial poor sound can spoil their half an hour.
Oxford’s Desert Storm are a new one us at RTM, but not for long, if the tunes they play are anything to go by. Straddling the same type of riffs as our favourites Orange Goblin, they are tremendously entertaining. During their set they become the first band we have ever seen who asks for the strobe lights to be turned off as they were epileptic and one of the only non-death metal band to attempt a track called “Enslaved In The Icy Tundra.” The band are back in September, supporting Peter Pan Speedrock at the same venue, and you really need to check them out.
Karma To Burn the stage with “Just The Two Of Us” blasting. This appears their little joke on the fact that, well, there is just the two of them. Don’t bother looking for explanation on their website as to why bassman Rich Mullins isn’t here, as it hasn’t been updated for over a year.
As you can tell K2B are a group that is content to let the music do the talking. Handy then, that they are instrumental band. And not just any old instrumental band. If you never heard them, then imagine Monster Magnet with no lyrics, just huge riff after huge riff.
Another thing Karma To Burn don’t bother with are song titles in any conventional sense. Rather they just deal with numbers. So it is that they kick off in tonight’s blistering heat at the Asylum 2, with “Eight,” then move into “Nineteen” and then towards the end nominal front man William Mecum – the master behind all these monstrous creations says ‘here’s a newer one for ya, it’s called “53.”
Of course, by definition this type of music is always going to have a limited cult appeal. RTM has seen them once before, when they opened for the aforementioned Monster Magnet, we liked them a lot, but the person we with couldn’t stand them, which really couldn’t be beaten as a metaphor. Those that (to use a really smug phrase) “get it” find much to enjoy, as whether a two piece or a trio there is nothing quite like Karma To Burn. They are never going to win over the doubters – and you suspect that they couldn’t care less.