EP REVIEW: Dames – Rival Karma

RIVAL KARMA release their debut EP Dames, a record of classic blues feeling and full bodied playing. The four piece bring together some examples of just how good Blues Rock should be put together.

Bayou is a pained and gritty blues track, alluding to the sorrows of life and the results of poor choices. The themes are tried and tested, and put to good use. Lies takes things to a much more THE VINTAGE CARAVAN angle, the track pulling out some very rocky riffs to compliment the old school blues. It’s a traditional track, that doesn’t stray off the road of what’s been before, but is solid in every aspect regardless of this.

Runaway Train keeps within the same funky, upbeat movement the likes of which evokes thoughts of sweaty gigs and whiskey at the bar. It’s smooth, crisp and easy to listen to. Slide takes the tone lower, to a more subdued angle. Initially the vocals feel a little weak, but as the track slowly creeps the anti up, the strength comes through and the song is much better for it. Once again, it’s classic blues here, but that’s no bad thing. These are solid tracks, easy to digest and taking influence from the best.

Living Dreams is a beautifully quiet, mellow song. It’s almost like something for a film, so sweet and tender that all the emotion within each chord is eloquent and heartfelt. As the track builds, the vibe becomes more energetic, and overall it’s probably the most universally likeable. However, the bonus track, Invisible Man at around seven minutes has enough time to build itself up into something very special. The vocals are smooth and silky, the pacing very nice and the whole body of the song, rhythm and bass, padding of the drums and twinkling of the guitar. It’s a beautiful piece of music, that stands clear as the strongest track and the best way to complete this EP.

As a debut release, this is very promising. There’s so much soul in this band and the true feeling of blues is within this record, you can’t help but sway, bop and croon to this record. If these guys keep on in the same vein, with perhaps some little twists and turns to spice things up, RIVAL KARMA are set on a road to greatness.

Rival Karma - Dames

Rating: 7/10

Dames is out now.

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