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Bad Karma
Sick Burlesque
September 2003
Released: 2003, 3sum Records
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: Rick

Its unusual to find a 3 piece band out there today in a time when many bands have upwards of 6,7 and sometimes even 8 members. It is even more unusual when that bands lead singer and bass player is a woman. Since we last checked in on the Bad Karma crowd they have added a new member, vocalist and bass player Chrissy Barlow. If you have read my previous review of the bands last CD I stated that the band played hook laden metal (their term) and needed work in the vocal department hence the addition of Barlow to the unit of Erik Wilcox: guitars and Kelly Heiser: drums.

The music has changed since the band last released BITTER PILLS in 2001. The loose punkish vibe is still evident to a certain extent but a slight mallcore element has intruded on the music. The title track is a perfect example of the change in sound of the band. Barlow is not a metal singer and purrs through the songs and when that doesn’t fit she snarls which made me think of Gwen Stefani of No Doubt after gargling broken glass. Wilcox also handles lead vocal duties and his delivery is pretty straightforward and for the most part the songs he handles, like “I Feel Nothing”, are some of the stronger tunes on SICK BURLESQUE.

I was looking forward to Bad Karma juicing up their sound and heading in an even more metal direction. Unfortunately that is not what happened. The addition of Barlow to the group has changed the bands sound and while I wouldn’t call the disc mallcore it certainly contains elements that are leading the band in that direction. That move is surprising considering that mallcore is dieing a slow death and metal seems to be gaining in popularity. Bad Karma is a solid band that seems to be looking for it own sound in today’s crowded music world. Hopefully they find it and it falls on the metal side of spectrum..
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