EP review: KAROBELA – Karobela

KAROBELA - Karobela

Facebook [Release date 05.06.20]

The Avengers are no more, scattered to the winds and the world needs saviours. Who will fill the huge gap? The cry goes up and an answer comes as four remarkable individuals rise and meet, put their awesome strengths together and Karobela is born. Their powers? Extraordinary skills with microphones, guitars, basses and drums. The result? One of the most instantly likeable and exciting releases you’ll hear this year.

‘Candy’ is the perfect start, bright and driving pop rock with class and balls. The tale of a bad girl that you shouldn’t love but you do, it has some killer lines to go with the music, ‘’She’s cute but now the Devil got your heart strings’’ perfectly illustrating the point. Structured with the skill of a NASA rocket building team, the chiming guitars of Rob Freeman mesh flawlessly with Lauren Diamond’s emphatic vocals as Katie King’s bass and Ben Gower’s drums lay down a beat it’s impossible not to dance to. ‘Skin and Bone’ is another cracker, a pure cut diamond of modern indie rock with their own unique twist that elevates it to something that will be living in your head, rent free, for the next several months and is guaranteed to be a melody you find yourself absentmindedly humming every hour on the hour.

Things turn darker in the bluesy stomp of ‘Liquor Heart’, the pounding feet and handclaps of the intro sounding like an old Gospel Spiritual. As the song takes off, sweet harmonies telling the story of defiance and survival from an abusive relationship while the muscle of the guitars and rhythm section emphasise the feeling of strength rising ever upwards beneath the hurt. ‘Good Luck Trying’ follows in the same vein, the music bursting with heft and power, melodic but crushing, leaping and loping as Diamond’s vocals fly, resolute and empowered.

There’s a touch of Clutch in the stop/start riff and style of ‘No Mercy’, a mix of honey and grit that utterly seduces by coming on like Neil Fallon’s troupe fronted by Joan Jett. With the stripped back acoustic delight of ‘Candy (unwrapped)’ soothing the senses and bringing things to an end it’s a resounding victory for the Kent based quartet. ‘Karobela’ will make you dance, make you sing, make you punch the air and make you feel more alive than you have in months. To paraphrase what they’ve been saying recently: not all superheroes wear capes, some wield guitars. Karobela have come to save music and it’s a wonderful thing to behold. *****

Review by Paul Monkhouse

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