Atakarma - Live At Crossfire '93

Friday 1st October 1993
Atakarma - Live At Crossfire '93

RATING 4 4 4 4
LABEL: Independent
FORMAT: Cassette Album

Reviewed by James Lewis

Apparently this band now have been going for ten years, although I must confess this tape is the first I've heard about them, and have had line-up shuffles to match Fleetwood Mac (although much more amicably). This is Atakarma mark III or IV, depending on which way you look at it. Unfortunately, this album makes reviewing tough. The songs here are brilliant -they have to struggle through a really poor mix, and yet still come out as recognisably good. Some of the tracks fall into the retro camp occupied by Jeff Healey and Lenny Kravitz in his Jimi mode, reviving the music made by Cream and Hendrix, although Atakarma have other influences as well - the nearest comparison I can think of is the military style of U2 on the 'War' LP; particularly the guitar work on one track reminded me of The Edge's distorted slide work. The tape consists of nine originals plus three covers and the originals are as catchy as the 'classics' they've covered - "Shaking All Over", "Rock And Roll" and "Phoenix" (I've never heard of this one I must admit). The lyrics are good and reach beyond the typical subjects - "Sick" starts off thus: "I am the flasher in the woods by the church/I was the subject of a police search/They couldn't find me cos I hid in a van/And anyway I'm just an ordinary man." The downside is the mix, the level of the vocals is fine, bass is fine, drums are fine, but the guitar is almost lost at times and you have to turn the tape up to hear the song properly. A minor gripe is that the vocalist insists on saying Ta" after every song - a little variety of patter might not have gone amiss. I can't recommend this tape, though, to anyone other than as a sample for anyone who may be thinking of booking them. But these guys ARE good.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Jon Montgomerie in Warrington @ 12:01 on Jan 31 2015

Well well, it's funny finding this review after so many years! Atakarma was my band, those were my songs and yes, sadly, that was me going "Ta" at the end of each song!! Sorry, I wasn't the world's most confident front man, so I wasn't so good with the banter...!
I spilt the band in 1996 when I got too busy with my day job, but I'd be interested in working with somebody again sometime beyond playing in my local church worship band, which is all I do now; also I guess I'd be interested in letting somebody else make use of my songs ...

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