What else can you say? KARP ROCK! Action Chemistry is a collection of singles, compilation tracks and rarities released after the band broke up in 1998. Here you can experience their Melvins-style indie-metal from start to finish, from their first single to a never-before-heard Black Flag cover. All the leftovers from their ten years as a band are included in this disk.
Karp are great because they are hard without being abrasive. They ride a fine line between metal, hardcore and rock, always maintaining their listenability. I can now see why a lot of the hardcore bands like Karp have fallen into a more classic rock sound, as Karp's music is as much a product of Black Sabbath, Mötörhead, and Judas Priest as it is Black Flag or the Melvins. (KM)
(Punk In My Vitamins -- P.O. Box 2283, Olympia, WA. 98507; http://www.punkinmyvitamins.com/; Karp -- http://www.kpunk.com/Karp/karp.htm)
I have to say that I had some preconceived notions of Sy Klopps before I even popped this CD in. Having been around the D.I.Y. music scene for a while, one look at the cover art had me convinced that this was just going to be another badly home-produced ego-fest for some guy that thought he was the ultimate "entertainer." It just had the look and vibe of a woodshedded demo, Bullseye logo notwithstanding. The first indication of the egg that was to be on my face came, though, when I started listening to the first track. "Running Blue" is a pretty jumpin' number that brings to mind big-band swing and jump blues, and before it's even over, Sy Klopps and his band prove themselves to be pretty formidable musicians. Sy himself lays down smooth, melody-laden vocal lines while the band members show you their chops (although never to the point of "wanking," which has made many a good jam go sour). The second track, the Al Green-esque "Wherever I Lay My Hat," is a clear sign of just how versatile Sy and his band are, effortlessly pulling off and selling a soul number that could have easily gone head-over-heels into "cheese" land. The rest of the album follows suit, as the band offers up their take on a variety of standards and original compositions, from swing, to jazz, to blues, to oldies, and everything in between. Quite a good album if this is your bag, and the whole shebang is made even more interesting when you find out who Sy Klopps really is (I'll leave it to the reader to ferret out that information). Now, for those of you over there at Bullseye: for God's sake, match the quality of the material and get some packaging that doesn't scream "Home-Burned Demo" to the consumers. (MHo)
(Bullseye Records -- firstname.lastname@example.org://www.rounder.com/; Sy Klopps -- http://www.syklopps.com/band/)