Karma is the debut album by Florida-based Newmachine and as we all know, (er, after I looked it up) the word karma basically means the actions taken by a person will have inevitable consequences, good or bad.
Bearing that in mind, I sincerely hope the band gets what it deserves in terms of consequences after their actions produced an album of this quality.
Although each band member has a deep history in music this is still a debut album after all is said and done and is an unqualified success.
Released on HighVolMusic on March 31, 2017, Karma is definitely a game of three halves (I know, I know). In the space of 9 songs and 34 minutes, we go from peak Velvet Revolver sleazy, dirty and rough rock ‘n’ roll, through Bon Jovi inspired AOR to a brief flirtation with the sound of Molly Hatchet. The great news is they pull it off and, as they say, variety is the spice of life.
Vocalist Tommy Williams has the perfect voice for their chosen path, powerful and with just a hint of gravel.
The first two tracks, “Hell to Pay” and “Nowhere Fast” fulfill the (reasonably) sleazy requirement and guitarists Polo Staber and Lorenzo DelVecchio provide us with cracking riffs and fast solos.
Karma stalls for a second on the formulaic “Lost” but it’s only a brief interruption.
The best two songs follow next and are both on the more emotional side, with “Love is Crazy” and “No More”. Tommy Williams manages to lose the gravelly voice to suit these songs perfectly. I can’t help thinking he knows what he’s doing…….
More AOR action comes next for Newmachine with “Hold On” which has a great catchy chorus and emotionally gripping intent. The guitar solo is a beauty too with hints of Brian May chucked in there.
“Livin’ It Up” ends the album proper but in this case, I’m treated to a bonus track, “Forgive To Be Free” which is where my tenuous Molly Hatchet link comes in. The vocals sound to me just like those of Hatchet’s Danny Joe Brown (R.I.P) On reflection I don’t suppose the rest of the song is very southern rock sounding but the vocals evoked happy memories of Take No Prisoners.
But less of my witterings, Karma is a high-quality debut by anybody’s standards and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes great rock ‘n’ roll and wants to support up and coming bands.