Khoma "The Second Wave" CDPosted on Monday, October 9th, 2006 @ 8:49am » permalink
A little over two years ago when I first encountered Khoma (who were without the "h" in their band name at the time), I completely flipped out and immediately fell in love with the Swedish outfit's brand of dark, brooding, metallic rock – which tends to avoid basic categorizations in favor of a moving, emotional approach that a wide range of listeners should be able to appreciate. I'll be forever indebted to Avi Roig at It's a Trap for introducing me to this excellent band, and I can only hope that my efforts to sing their praises has in turn brought their music to yet another audience. This particular album, "The Second Wave", having been released on a much larger label (the UK division of Roadrunner Records) than their debut, seems to be garnering a bit more press, which is a good sign, but I can't help but think that Roadrunner's a bunch of complete fucking idiots for not releasing this outstanding piece of work here in the US. They'll try to rip us off with repackaged reissues of year-old albums and completely worthless "best of" collections, but they won't make a meager investment to try to promote a lesser-known European band on American shores? Pathetic.
But enough about that. The point of all this ranting and raving is that Khoma is a truly outstanding group, and I certainly encourage everyone reading this to at least give 'em a shot. The sweeping dynamic shifts of their songwriting add/subtract layers to find softer passages of droning guitar tones and robust percussive textures building up to explosive bursts of pulsing low-end and powerfully energetic guitar work where intermingling melodies and dense chords piece together behind soaring vocals to create an almost epic sensibility at times. Thankfully some of the best tracks from "Tsunami", their relatively obscure debut, have been re-recorded herein, and the production values are absolutely outstanding – perfectly accenting the manner in which Khoma's material ebbs and flows throughout. Also excellent is the satin-finish digipack, which includes a booklet containing all of the lyrics in handwritten text alongside some very nice photography that provides a fitting aesthetic match for the music. I have to say that "Like Coming Home" is one of the band's most amazing compositions to date, and one of my favorite songs of the last decade, without question.
Briefly going back to my rant about the Roadrunner cats being fuckin' idiots and all that, sadly it is not easy to find this CD in the US for a reasonable price at all. After months of searching, I finally got fed up and paid about $23 (including shipping), which was the cheapest price I could find. I wouldn't trust buying it on eBay because there are way too many sketchy sellers pawning off shitty slipcase promos for full price with flimsy item descriptions. I got mine through the Amazon Marketplace. I'd recommend using the seller "cdzone_co_uk", as that's who I went through and I had the disc in my hands in less than 10 days. Don't use "caiman_com" because they're full of shit and don't have most of what they list in stock, and even if they do actually have it they take too much time to get the merch to you anyway. I love this band and fully encourage the purchase of their music, but god damnit Roadrunner needs to get on the fucking ball and release this shit over here, too. Morons.