The Debate Rages: 35007 vs. Karma to Burn

Okay, so maybe these two bands are stand-ins for bigger ideas, but think about it this way: The central question in looking at defunct Dutch psych proggers 35007 (on my mind following their inclusion in this month’s podcast) and reborn West Virginian riff bashers Karma to Burn is what do you want from an instrumental band? Do you want extensive musical exploration born out of freeform or structurally open jamming, or do you want head-down, driving rock, just without some singer guy blathering on about motorcycles and hey whoa baby yeah?

By way of examples, let’s take 35007‘s 2005 swansong, Phase V, and what was then Karma to Burn‘s second album, 1999′s Wild Wonderful Purgatory, which was the record that established them as an instrumental act following their 1997 self-titled debut. The 35007 made a bed of odd time signatures and underlying experiments in synth, resulting in a varied, eclectic presentation, where Karma to Burn‘s sophomore outing is among the most straightforward stoner rock albums, period. If it was any more stripped down, they wouldn’t be playing.

I’m not necessarily championing either as the best in the band’s catalog (though I’ll argue for Phase V in that regard), but looking to get a discussion going on what you want when you listen to instrumental heavy rock. Karma to Burn and 35007 — both pivotal and highly influential bands who got started around the same time in the early/mid ’90s — stand for very different things musically while still roughly residing in the same genre. So let’s do this:

Is it the expanded creative realm of 35007?

Or the balls-out, bullshit-free classicism of Karma to Burn?

You know the drill by now. These posts are always about having some fun, so wherever you stand, make sure you leave a comment below. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.

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11 Responses to “The Debate Rages: 35007 vs. Karma to Burn”

  1. billsbrother says:

    I AM A SUCKER FOR BOTH, BECAUSE BASICLY AT TIMES YOU JUST WANT SINGERS TO SHUT UP

    IN THE END WHEN I HAVE TO CHOOSE I CHOOSE THE RIFF, HENCE MY LOVE FOR DUTCH INSTRUMETAL GORE (HART GORE, MEAN MANS DREAM ARE THE BEST IN THE GENRE, RERELEASED BY SOUTHERN LORD NOT TOO LONG AGO)

  2. billsbrother says:

    PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ7AHeLeIBk&feature=related

    35007 : I ALWAYS LIKED THE VON BRAUN EP THE BEST, BASICLY BECAUSE OF THE BETTER GROOVE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VETxmqlM7-U

  3. RalphSnart says:

    Got to go with 35007, one of the most tragically unappreciated bands of the last decade. KTB is always cool in my book, but it’s a lot harder to stomach a whole album. They’re better in small doses.

  4. Lodger says:

    I agree that 35007 is criminally under appreciated. They are both awesome stoner road trip music. For my money, I’ll take Karma to Burn.

  5. Leaving a Reply says:

    35007 for me too. When i feel like putting on some psych/spacey stuff to relax to, sometimes i’ll put them on. Never been much into Karma To Burn.

  6. Mr Neutron says:

    I listen to K2B more, but think liquid is the best album by either.

    K2B by the slimmest of margins, i guess

  7. scott says:

    35007 all the way…. amazing band…. Never got to see them live. I missed the one time they played in Denmark..

  8. goAt says:

    Seeing as I have a promotional poster for Wild, Wonderful Purgatory adorning the wall above my toilet from the MIA Records days, I don’t feel the need to even listen to whatever that other band is…no debate here. :)

  9. saturnine says:

    goAt, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

    I’m much more likely to listen to Karma to Burn. Not sure why that is.

  10. Friek says:

    Tough call…

    I go with 35007.

    On some songs K2B sound like there’s a singer missing imo. Never had that feeling with 35007. At least on their last 3 records :)

    I like K2B nevertheless – they rock like fuck. I just wish they’d try out a bit more soundwise.

  11. HisandHeropinion says:

    We really dig both bands, but basically it’s a mood thing. K2B is for backroads and pickup trucks and 35007 over the intercom of the USS Enterprise.

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