Karma to Burn Debut Two Making of Arch Stanton Behind-the-Scenes Videos

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

karma-to-burn

Today, Jan. 26, is an off-date for Karma to Burn‘s current North American tour. Last night, they were in Dallas for show number 18 of the 33-date run. Tomorrow, they’ll be in Albuquerque, New Mexico, alongside Sierra, with whom they’ve been touring in support of the US release of their latest album, Arch Stanton (review here). The instrumental trio, whose roots trace back to guitarist/founder Will Mecum‘s origins in Morgantown, West Virginia, have always done it the hard way, and this stint I’m quite sure is no exception.

But then, there’s always been something argumentative at the heart of Karma to Burn. Since the original lineup of the band came roaring back in 2010 with their fourth full-length, Appalachian Incantation (review here), Karma to Burn have reminded both friends and foes of their uncompromising position when it comes to straight-ahead riffing and the vision at the heart of their project. Mecum, who leads the trio now comprised of himself, drummer Evan Devine and bassist Eric Clutter, is the driving force behind Karma to Burn‘s no-frills heaviness, and half a decade after the group’s rebirth, there’s as little room for argument as ever.

Switzerland-based Snakehill Productions has put together a series of behind-the-scenes videos interviewing Karma to Burn about some of their life on tour and their general feelings and attitudes on being in the band at this point. It’s called “The Making of Arch Stanton,” but the vibe is really more about getting into what it’s like being Karma to Burn than about which amps were used to record “54” or anything like that. Either way, it’s a cool chance to hear MecumDevine and Clutter talk about what they’re listening to and what they dig about playing different songs, as well as their picks for the next in the band’s line of intermittent vocalists.

Remaining tour dates follow the clips below. Enjoy:

Karma to Burn, The Making of Arch Stanton Pt. 3 & 4


Pt. 1 & 2 can be viewed here.

KARMA TO BURN & SIERRA North American Tour

Remaining dates:
1/27/2015 Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
1/28/2015 The Nile Theater – Mesa, AZ
1/30/2015 Loaded – Hollywood, CA
1/31/2015 Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA
2/01/2015 Starlite Lounge – Sacramento, CA
2/03/2015 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
2/04/2015 Rickshaw Theatre – Vancouver, BC
2/06/2015 Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
2/07/2015 The Shredder – Boise, ID
2/08/2015 Area 51 – Salt Lake City, UT
2/09/2015 Lost Lake Lounge – Denver, CO
2/10/2015 Replay Lounge – Lawrence, KS
2/11/2015 Fubar – St Louis, MO
2/12/2015 Red Line Tap – Chicago, IL
2/13/2015 123 Pleasant Street – Morgantown, WV

Karma to Burn’s website

Karma to Burn on Thee Facebooks

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Karma to Burn Confirm North American Tour Dates; Announce Arch Stanton US Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

karma to burn

West Virginian instrumental institution Karma to Burn are kicking off a month of North American touring on Jan. 7 and by astounding coincidence, that same date will mark the official US release of their latest album, Arch Stanton (review here). That record saw issue earlier this year on FABA/Deepdive Records, and it will be the former who reportedly will handle the American pressing, which the trio seem fit to hand deliver from city to city on their cross-country (plus Montreal and Vancouver!) run.

It’s a hell of a slog and while I’m sure places like Albuquerque and Mesa, Arizona, will be vaguely tolerable in January, I don’t think anyone could accuse Karma to Burn of going easy on themselves this time out. The band has spent much of the last several years focusing on Europe, but it seems they’re ready to dive headfirst back into the North American market. Hard not to root for them in the endeavor.

I had thought it was only for those on their mailing list, but it looks like they’ve also made a warts-and-all live recording from an earlier-2014 London gig available for free download as well, as the PR wire informs:

karma to burn tour

KARMA TO BURN: Instrumental Stoner Rock Legends Announce 2015 North American Tour Dates; Arch Stanton To See Stateside Release Next Month

West Virginia instrumental stoner rock legends, KARMA TO BURN, will bring their bong-ripping riffery and glassy-eyed grooves to the stage next month on a mammoth live expedition. Scheduled to launch on January 7th, 2015 in Ohio, the band will crumble thirty-three stages across the US and Canada, coming to a close in their home state on February 13th, 2015. The band will be joined by special guests, Canadian riff rockers, Sierra. In the meantime, turn up and tune out to the sounds of KARMA TO BURN deafening London earlier this year. The show is downloadable for a limited time at THIS LOCATION.

KARMA TO BURN — guitarist Will Mecum, bassist Rob Halkett and drummer Evan Devine — will be touring in support of their Arch Stanton long player. Unleashed in Europe this Summer via Switzerland-based Faba Records, Arch Stanton is the band’s sixth studio album and third since reforming following their seven-year hiatus in 2009. Reminiscent of their now iconic Wild Wonderful Purgatory and Almost Heathen offerings, on Arch Stanton, KARMA TO BURN channels the true spirit of the riff rock ritual with seven monumental new shredders and “23,” a classic number never before heard, re-recorded for the first time ever.

KARM TO BURN:
1/07/2015 Ripper’s Rock House – Akron, OH
10/8/2015 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA
1/09/2015 31st Street Pub – Pittsburgh, PA
1/10/2015 Hard Luck Bar – Toronto, ON
1/11/2015 Casa Del Popolo – Montreal, QC
1/12/2015 Higher Ground – Burlington, VT
1/13/2015 Geno’s Rock Club – Portland, ME
1/14/2015 TT the Bear’s – Cambridge, MA
1/15/2015 The Shaskeen – Manchester, NH
1/16/2015 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY
1/18/2015 Metro Gallery – Baltimore, MD
1/19/2015 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA
1/20/2015 Pour House Music Hall – Raleigh, NC
1/21/2015 The Earl = East Atlanta, GA
1/22/2015 Siberia – New Orleans, LA
1/23/2015 Mangos – Houston, TX
1/24/2015 Mohawk – Austin, TX
1/25/2015 Double Wide – Dallas, TX
1/27/2015 Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
1/28/2015 The Nile Theater – Mesa, AZ
1/30/2015 Loaded – Hollywood, CA
1/31/2015 Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA
2/01/2015 Starlite Lounge – Sacramento, CA
2/03/2015 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
2/04/2015 Rickshaw Theatre – Vancouver, BC
2/06/2015 Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
2/07/2015 The Shredder – Boise, ID
2/08/2015 Area 51 – Salt Lake City, UT
2/09/2015 Lost Lake Lounge – Denver, CO
2/10/2015 Replay Lounge – Lawrence, KS
2/11/2015 Fubar – St Louis, MO
2/12/2015 Red Line Tap – Chicago, IL
2/13/2015 123 Pleasant Street – Morgantown, WV

In conjunction with band’s tour kick off, KARMA TO BURN’s Arch Stanton will see official North American release via Faba Records on January 7th, 2014.

KARMA TO BURN on Facebook
http://www.k2burn.net

Karma to Burn, “57”

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Karma to Burn Announce Month-Long US Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

…Actually it’s more like five weeks that West Virginia’s Karma to Burn will spend on the road across the US supporting their 2014 full-length, Arch Stanton (review here). The Morgantown instrumentalists, now with guitarist Will Mecum as the sole remaining founding member alongside bassist Rob Halkett and drummer Evan Devine, will head out right after New Year’s, starting Jan. 7 in Ohio and ending with a hometown gig on Feb. 13.

Those lineup changes have taken place and Karma to Burn have released a self-titled EP and a split with Sons of Alpha Centauri since their last round of North American touring in 2011, so it seems reasonable to expect some difference in stage presence given the different players, etc., but Karma to Burn‘s no-frills core might as well be carved in marble it’s so permanent, and they should be nothing if not recognizable.

Looking forward to finding out:

karma to burn tour

Karma to Burn on North American tour!

1/07 AKRON, OH @ RIPPERS ROCK HOUSE
1/08 PHILADELPHIA, PA @ KUNGFU NECKTIE
1/09 PITTSBURGH, PA @ 31ST ST PUB
1/10 TORONTO, ON @ HARD LUCK
1/11 MONTREAL, QC @ CASA DEL POPOLO
1/12 BURLINGTON, VT @ HIGHER GROUND
1/13 PORTLAND, ME @ GENO’S
1/14 BOSTON, MA @ TT THE BEARS
1/15 MANCHESTER, NH @ THE SHASKEEN
1/16 NEW YORK, NY @ SAINT VITUS
1/18 BALTIMORE, MD @ METRO GALLERY
1/19 RICHMOND, VA @ STRANGE MATTER
1/20 RALEIGH, NC @ THE POUR HOUSE
1/21 ATLANTA, GA @ THE EARL
1/22 NEW ORLEANS, LA @ SIBERIA
1/23 HOUSTON, TX @ MANGOS
1/24 AUSTIN, TX @ MOHAWK
1/25 DALLAS, TX @ DOUBLE WIDE
1/27 ALBUQUERQUE, TX @ LAUNCHPAD
1/28 PHOENIX, AZ @ NILE THEATER
1/29 SAN DIEGO, CA @ BRICK BY BRICK
1/30 LOS ANGELES, CA @ LOADED
1/31 SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ BOTTOM OF THE HILL
2/01 SACRAMENTO, CA @ STARLITE LOUNGE
2/03 SEATTLE, WA @ EL CORAZON
2/04 VANCOUVER, BC @ RICKSHAW THEATER
2/06 PORTLAND, OR @ HAWTHORNE THEATER
2/07 BOISE, ID @ SHREDDER
2/08 SALT LAKE CITY, UT @ AREA 51
2/09 DENVER, CO @ LOST LAKE
2/10 LAWRENCE, KS @ REPLAY
2/11 ST. LOUIS, MO @ FUBAR
2/12 CHICAGO IL @ RED LINE TAP
2/13 MORGANTOWN WV @ 123 PLEASANT STREET
04/23 Berlin Germany @ Desert Fest
04/26 London UK @ Desert Fest

https://twitter.com/k2burnofficial
http://www.k2burn.net/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karma-To-Burn/118432638215095

Karma to Burn, “55” official video

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Desertfest London 2015 Adds The Atomic Bitchwax, The Wounded Kings, Lo-Pan, Black Pyramid, Amulet, Desert Storm, Floor and Karma to Burn to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 14th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

desertfest london banner

Desertfest London 2015 was due for a big round of adds, and if they had a quota, you can pretty much consider it met. Eight bands were confirmed for the bill of the Camden Town festival today, among them Lo-Pan and Black Pyramid, who’ll also be at Desertfest Berlin together, UK natives The Wounded Kings (who’ll be there with original singer George Birch in the lineup), Desert Storm, Amulet, reunited pummelers Floor, Jersey’s finest power trio The Atomic Bitchwax and instrumentalists Karma to Burn, for whom this will be a return appearance. With SleepRed Fang and Orange Goblin already on the bill, at very least we can surmise Desertfest knows what it likes.

I don’t know how much more there is to come from Desertfest London 2015 — April is still months away, so one assumes plenty — but to look at this lineup already, it’s an enviable assemblage and shows in its variety how far the festival has progressed in its few short years. Minsk and Lo-Pan sharing a bill? Noothgrush and My Sleeping Karma? Seems like whatever poison you want to pick, they can accommodate.

From the PR wire:

desertfest london poster

FLOOR, KARMA TO BURN, BLACK PYRAMID, LO-PAN, THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX and more added to the DESERTFEST LONDON 2015 lineup

Once again, DESERTFEST LONDON fired a crushing salvo of heaviness by adding eight more kickass bands to their 2015 lineup. FLOOR, KARMA TO BURN, BLACK PYRAMID, LO-PAN, THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX, AMULET, DESERT STORM and THE WOUNDED KINGS are consequently joining the party, which will take place on April 24-26th in Camden.

Already confirmed:

SLEEP
RED FANG
ORANGE GOBLIN
MY SLEEPING KARMA
NOOTHGRUSH
MINSK
BLACK COBRA
DOPETHRONE
AGRIMONIA
WALK THROUGH FIRE
FLOOR
KARMA TO BURN
BLACK PYRAMID
LO-PAN
THE ATOMIC BITCHWAX
AMULET
DESERT STORM
THE WOUNDED KINGS

DESERTFEST LONDON
April 24-26th 2015 in Camden Town
Koko – Electric Ballroom – The Underworld – The Black Heart

Tickets on sale now AT THIS LOCATION
Hotel & ticket packages info available HERE

https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
http://instagram.com/desertfest

The Atomic Bitchwax, Live at the Purple Turtle, London, UK, April 27, 2011

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audiObelisk Transmission 038

Posted in Podcasts on July 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Click Here to Download

 

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

As I’ve tried not to do since I started making podcasts again, I kept away from a consistent theme this time around, but I wanted to at least get a blend of bands you’ve probably heard and bands maybe you haven’t. Of course the new Sleep was a given, and new cuts from Electric Wizard and Karma to Burn felt like they needed to be there as well, so they are. But there are a few corresponding inclusions of stuff I’ve been digging that I haven’t had the chance to write about yet — looking at you, USA out of Vietnam, Lewis and the Strange Magics and Deamon’s Child — and while I’ve no doubt you’re already down with those and the rest of what’s included here because you’re on it like that, putting them in here seemed a good way to feature them for anyone not yet exposed who might be interested in checking them out.

If that’s you, please enjoy. The second hour, as usual, is consumed by longer songs, but there are a few in the first hour as well (that Electric Wizard track is over 10 minutes, and the Sleep is close to it), but of the podcasts I’ve put together in the last few months, this one easily flows the best. It was pretty late as I was putting it together last night, so I had the headphones on and was working totally without distraction. I know it’s an unrealistic expectation to think anyone will be able to listen in that manner, but if you get the chance or if you don’t, I hope you have a good time.

First Hour:
Sleep, “The Clarity” from Adult Swim Singles Series (2014)
Electric Wizard, “I am Nothing” from Time to Die (2014)
Lewis and the Strange Magics, “Cloudy Grey Cube” from Demo (2014)
USA Out of Vietnam, “You are a Comet, You are on Fire” from Crashing Diseases and Incurable Airplanes (2014)
Serpent Venom, “Lord of Life” from Of Things Seen and Unseen (2014)
Deamon’s Child, “Lutscher!” from Deamon’s Child (2014)
Rabbits, “Reek and Ye Shall Find” from Untoward (2014)
Karma to Burn, “Fifty Seven” from Arch Stanton (2014)
The Heavy Co., “One Big Drag” from Uno Dose (2014)

Second Hour:
Wolf Blood, “Dancing on Your Grave” from Wolf Blood (2014)
Frown, “Harpocrates Unborn” from The Greatest Gift to Give (2014)
Merlin, “Lucifer’s Revenge” from Christ Killer (2014)
Causa Sui, “Incipiency Suite” from Pewt’r Sessions 3 (2014)

Total running time: 1:57:27

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 038

 

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Karma to Burn, Arch Stanton: Shoot, Don’t Talk

Posted in Reviews on July 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

What’s really surprising about Arch Stanton, the new full-length from Karma to Burn, isn’t how the trio goes about its business. Led by West Virginian guitarist Will Mecum, the method is essentially the same as it’s been since 1999’s sophomore outing, Wild Wonderful Purgatory, in that the band cut a straight line, sans frills, to riff-led heavy rock and roll. Tracks are numerically titled, there are no vocals save for a bit of sampling on closer “Fifty Nine” (also as high as the numbers go this time around), and they stick so firmly to their approach that six of the album’s eight tracks are between four and five minutes long, and neither of the other two top six. For anyone who’s listened to them before, the ideas and the barebones feel with which they’re presented will be familiar. What’s really surprising about Arch Stanton is how much Karma to Burn can say without saying anything at all. Not counting a 2012 reworking of their famously vocalized 1997 self-titled debut (their label at the time, Roadrunner, forced them to take a on a singer; it didn’t last), dubbed Slight Reprise, the FABA and Deepdive Records-released Arch Stanton is Karma to Burn‘s sixth album, the follow-up to 2011’s V (review here) and their 2010 return, Appalachian Incantation (review here), as well as a slew of splits, EPs and singles. It is consistent with those two and with the output from Karma to Burn‘s first run on the aforementioned Wild Wonderful Purgatory and 2002’s Almost Heathen, but it’s also their first long-player to feature bassist Rob Halkett and drummer Evan Devine alongside Mecum.

Although it doesn’t manifest sonically in any massive stylistic shift — Mecum seems to be calling the shots either way — his guitar is certainly the defining presence in the band at this point if it wasn’t before, and it probably was — it’s still a big change. Former bassist Rich Mullins and ex-drummer Rob Oswald, aside from being there during the first run prior to their split after Almost Heathen, were a considerable presence in the band’s creative growth. Mullins having taken part in the band Year Long Disaster particularly led to the two groups essentially combining forces for a time, but that’s gone on Arch Stanton as well. Those days, it would seem, are over, and Karma to Burn have returned to the core of what they’re all about, which is Mecum‘s riffs and a straightforward instrumental heavy rock drive. They dip as far back as “Twenty Three” — which by the numbers comes from the Wild Wonderful Purgatory-era — but the rest of Arch Stanton is between “Fifty Three” and “Fifty Nine,” arranged over the album’s 37 minutes to maximize overarching flow over what I imagine breaks cleanly in half to form two vinyl sides, and “Fifty Seven” leads off with Devine‘s drums and winding feedback leading to a classic motoring boogie, thick, groovy and in heavy motion. As ever, Karma to Burn waste no time in reminding their listeners who they are and what they do, even if they’re introducing some new faces in the process. “Fifty Six” has a metallic feel in the initial guitar line, and “Fifty Three” slows the proceedings down for a time, but they cap the first half with a return to the swagger in “Fifty Four” that shows off some airy layering at first before the central riff emerges to mark the nod-ready progression, building efficiently before a somewhat understated payoff rounds out.

The grooves get larger on “Fifty Five” and “Fifty Eight” on side B, but the mood and overall vibe keep steady, though the fact that the chugging “Twenty Three” seems to have a simpler spirit than what surrounds could be taken as indicative of the creative growth of the band or at very least Mecum‘s songwriting. Karma to Burn have long been haunted by the specter of vocals, partially because of their debut, partially because, in collaborations with John Garcia and Dan Davies, they’ve flirted with the idea, and partially because the songs are so straightforward it seems there’s room for a singer. I don’t know if that feels less true on Arch Stanton because something has changed in Karma to Burn musically or if it’s interpretation based on how otherwise uncompromising the album feels, but it remains the case either way. True to the album’s title which also references the film, some snipped dialog from the closing moments of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly — famous Morricone score included — is worked into “Fifty Nine,” and that seems particularly fitting, though somewhat ironic since that was a European film set in the American west and Karma to Burn are an American band who at this point have found greater success touring in Europe. Nonetheless, they end with a big push, and bring Arch Stanton to a finish sounding refreshed in their purpose and clearheaded about what it is Karma to Burn should be some 20 years on from the band’s founding. Whether or not Mecum‘s bringing in Halkett and Devine will signal a new period of productivity — two live albums, an EP and a split with Sons of Alpha Centauri all being released since the start of 2013 would hint that perhaps it will — it’s hard to say for sure, but if Arch Stanton proves anything, it’s that like their goat mascot on the Alexander von Wieding cover art, they ride tall and destructive through whatever battle may be raging around them.

Karma to Burn, “53” official video

Karma to Burn on Thee Facebooks

Deepdive Records

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Karma to Burn Reveal Artwork & Tracklisting for Arch Stanton

Posted in Visual Evidence on May 27th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

In looking at his work over the course of their collaboration, you can tell that German artist Alexander von Wieding is a fan of Karma to Burn. Not just because he does such excellent work for them — see his prior covers to their V and Appalachian Incantation full-lengths and splits with Sons of Alpha Centauri, ÖfÖ Am, etc. — but to the creativity he brings to their established goat mascot and the level to which he captures what the instrumental West Virginian outfit is all about. The latest partnership between Karma to Burn and von Wieding is the three-piece’s forthcoming album, Arch Stanton, set to release in August.

The album takes its title from the name on the grave in the Sergio Leone classic, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, where a fortune of gold is buried, and almost certainly, if riffs were treasure then Karma to Burn would be millionaires. Von Wieding‘s cover departs from the spaghetti west in favor of the American Civil War, which occurred before the events imagined in the film, and we see Karma to Burn‘s mascot — who’s well on his way to an Eddie-esque number of interpretations — storming a battle line of Union and Confederate soldiers, the flags of both sides represented. All around is chaos and fire and death, rendered with a frightening and otherworldly glow, and both armies recoil in bloody horror as the cigar-smoking beast devastates with a whip for each side.

Karma to Burn‘s Arch Stanton is out this August through Deepdive Records and FABA Records. More to come about it, I’m sure, but until then, check out the tracklisting, take a listen to the prior single “Fifty Three,” which will appear on the record, and click the image below for a closer look:

Tracklist:

1 Fifty Seven
2 Fifty Six
3 Fifty Three
4 Fifty Four
5 Fifty Five
6 Twenty Three
7 Fifty Eight
8 Fifty Nine

Label is: deepdive records & FABA records

Release 15.8.2014

Karma to Burn, “Fifty Three”

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Video Premiere: Karma to Burn, “53”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 5th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

When you need an ass kicked and you need it kicked in a hurry, call Karma to Burn. Led by guitarist Will Mecum, the West Virginian outfit has been stomping mudholes with their particular brand of straightforward heavy rock and roll for 20 years now, and as “53” from their new H42 Records split 7″ with UK rockers Sons of Alpha Centauri shows, there’s no slowing down in their point-A-to-point-B, no frills, no bullshit approach. The instrumentalists have seen no shortage of changes along their way — Mecum is now joined in the band by bassist Rob Halkett and drummer Evan Devine, and Karma to Burn have had bassists, drummers, and even vocalists come and go — but their core ethic remains steady and there’s no getting around the fact that it continues to work.

The video features art by Alexander von Wieding and old war footage, but of course the draw is the song itself. “53” is a solid refresher of just what it is that has always made Karma to Burn such a righteous outlier. They never quite seem satisfied, never want to rest, and at what I’m sure is a coincidental four minutes and 20 seconds long, the song “53” hits with an underlying intensity of purpose that’s like listening to grinding teeth. Whatever they do, it’s their unwillingness to compromise their sound and the central riff-led take that has earned them such respect over the last two decades, but no matter how many bands they influence or what acclaim comes their way or passes them by, Karma to Burn keep their heads down, keep working. It’s easy to admire that.

Enjoy “53” below, followed by some more info on the Sons of Alpha Centauri split vinyl courtesy of H42 Records:

Karma to Burn, “53” official video

Karma to Burn’s ’53’

’53’ is also part of the new Split 7″ of Sons of Alpha Centauri & Karma to Burn! This is the second 7″ featuring both bands and follows up the immense popularity of the first vinyl and captures the raw energy and driving rock fury of both bands yet again. This release will only be available on vinyl through H42 Records Artwork & Layout: Alexander von Wieding.

First Edition: 500
– 130 on orange-black vinyl
– 130 on white-blue vinyl
– 240 on black vinyl

Karma to Burn’s website

Sons of Alpha Centauri on Thee Facebooks

H42 Records webstore

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