It's rare, but sometimes an album just feels comfortable on the very first listen. Karma Vulture's debut album Something Better achieves this, making a connection almost immediately. As the cleverly-named intro "Something Good" rolls into the one-upping title track, thumping toms riding the surging feedback and noise, it's only a short wait until the album's very first riff washes over listeners, providing an instant familiarity and a groove that feels like home. It's a little bit of nostalgia -- Karma Vulture's sleek sound evokes the brief period in which stoner rock could score radio singles -- but more than that, Something Better is just reassuringly good at what it does: rock. We're streaming the album here in full before it drops Friday.



For one thing, Karma Vulture has an effortless command of groove, each song sporting incredibly infectious rhythms that whip surly guitars and bass into line. Listening carefully, there's a lot of layers of noisy stuff going on, but it's all woven into bouncy cadences that take absolutely no effort to internalize. It's highly danceable, even if some of those dances eventually might convert into moshpits, like on the frenetic "Do the Twitch."

Vocalist/bassist Conor Spellane's voice is almost too perfect for what the band is doing: soulful and capable of delivering acerbic insults as well as ragged self-psychoanalysis with major charisma. Songs like "Not Sure" and the title track highlight a clever–and piercing–approach to lyrics that just clicks with the band's driving, slightly contemplative rock.

Ultimately, rock is at the heart of this record and it's what pumps through its veins, tinted by a rich history of stoner rock, grunge, and the tiniest hint of metal. Catchy, powerful, and a little bit weird, Something Better is a memorable reminder of bygone stoner rock greatness and also a portent of what might come to pass again.


Something Better releases April 28th via Bent Knee Records.

Karma Vulture - Upcoming Live Dates
05/31 Cleveland, OH - TBA
06/01 Indianapolis, IN - J Clyde’s
06/02 Grand Rapids, MI - Mulligans Pub
06/03 Detroit, MI - PJ’s Lager House
06/05 Louisville, KY - Metal Monday @ Highlands Taproom
06/06 Chicago, IL - Liars Club
06/07 St Louis, MO - TBA
06/08 Lawrence, KS - Replay Lounge
06/09 Lincoln, NE - 1867
06/10 Jackson, TN - Downtown Tavern

More From Invisible Oranges