Third Outing caught up with Bristol's premier rock and roll band The Karma Repair Kit to talk about their new record Your restless Spirit and everything else that's their world. So without further ado, one of the best bands of the next few years, The Karma Repair Kit take it away...
Who are Karma?
It started last summer really, recording some demos and went from there. Our main influences are rock bands from the 90’s, the stuff we grew up with; Nirvana, Pixies, Ride, Sonic Youth. It’s grungy alt-rock with a noisy psych shoegaze edge.
The track and the dream
Your Restless Spirit is straight up. We wrote it thinking about strength and resilience in people in general, but particularly inspired by some of the women in the family. Just writing and performing music is really the only goal, to travel and play to as many people as possible, simple as that.
Best pub in Bristol
We end up in Start the Bus a lot, it's close, they have good beer and bands. But for an actual pub the King Willy is a good bet. It was a second home for many months. The place to be if you're looking for a pint and a game of pool. Start the Bus is great for music and drinking and it's next to a Tesco so you can go for an egg 'n' cress in between pints.
Probably Nirvana, just so we could see them. It's an obvious one but it would be a bit good. Or Led Zeppelin because Led Zeppelin.
The band's original psychedelic vision has now widened beyond the 60’s, incorporating 90's Shoegaze and grungy rocking roll. It’s the change that was needed to bring The Karma Repair Kit up the leagues and firmly onto the Bristol Alt Indie map.
The track to talk about is Your Restless Spirit, one of the best songs we've heard from the region. It’s a mood changer from upbeat energetic to sombre. Clearly influenced by the sounds of the BRMC, a new sonic territory is explored, with a fine blend of Shoegaze and psych which really works for The Karma Repair Kit; packaged nicely in their own style, being free, easy and simple. Their thoughts are easily appreciated in the rather drug infused sitar Middle 8, a highlight of the track, if anything, showing the work of a group hitting their stride. With the entire record self-recorded on a shoestring budget (probably, we didn't ask), the 7” covers all bases: Kraut-pop, Stones swag, dazed Shoegaze and a genuine sounding grunge Nirvana style. But then look at the B-Side Watch Me Walk, where the contrasts from the first track are visible.
"Watch Me Walk is loosely based on the notion of the flaneur; the ability to walk amongst people in a city and observe unnoticed. It's a concept that some Modernist writers latched onto. I tried to put across both the empowerment and the danger of being so socially detached".
Most intriguing is that for all the nods to other genres and kaleidoscopic days gone by, The Karma Repair Kit are creating a music very much driven by their academic philosophies of life. But for us, it doesn't quite hit the nail. The straightforwardness of Your Restless Spirit is significant of their style, and it’s where they truly excel.