Six tracker that is quite an opening gambit

Londoners Rival Karma have bagged themselves a spot on the new Maybelline advert – for Rock Nudes no less – quite apart from the fact that the models on the video are hot (they are….) is the not inconsiderable point that this might well get them a leg up that other bands might not get – not that they will need, however, if the music contained on their debut EP is anything to go by.

Five tracks plus a “bonus” sixth, of such quality that you might not even notice the ad when “Lies” is playing over it.

The song is the second cut here and is full of funky strut, like a kind of Stones with a modern chorus,  and it is merely another example of the thought that Rival Karma could basically be anything they want to be.

The record begins with the slinky “Bayou” which sees singer Martin William Ross firing out the lines in staccato fashion, and the whole thing is held together by Kevin Barre’s fine guitar work. Indeed the to seem to have developed a better understanding than you might expect from two blokes who met while queuing for a train ticket.

“Dames” does come across like its trying to nail down a style, but “Runaway Train” occupies somewhere a little more primal than the others, and “Slide” with its pulsing bass chops wouldn’t be out of place on an I Am Giant record, and “Living Dreams” comes on like it wants to give Kings Of Leon a run for their money if you don’t mind.

Oddly, the best perhaps, is the bonus cut. “Invisible Man” is appreciably longer than the others – clocking in at over seven minutes – and stretching out over what we might term as the longer form of the game  allows them to come up with something bluesy and compelling,

“Dames” as a whole is a more than decent opening and their career could be one to keep an eye on as things roll along.

Rating 7.5/10

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