The Liquid Karma Band was a rock band active between 1993 to 2006. The band's best years are often considered to be 1993 to 1999 when all 4 original members were based in Okinawa Japan. The bands first album, "Liquid Karma" was recorded in this time period.
Although not usually considered a major Asian '90s commercial rock act, Liquid Karma were capable of offering some mighty pleasurable power rock along with some great stage shows into the late 2000’s. The band always used the format of playing covers and originals.
Despite touring in the Asian theater extensively in the 1990’s, there are few, if any, detailed histories about this enigmatic band. What is known is that the original Liquid Karma Band (originally known as Skeleton Key) consisted of guitarist Jimie Whitmore, bassist Jeff Earl Samford, vocalist Scott Geary, and drummer Greg Dickens and occasional keyboardist Robert Baker. Whitmore, the ostensible leader of the group, went solo in 1999, but Liquid Karma was pretty much over by that point. Although subsequent recordings had more good moments than many listeners are aware of, a combination of personal problems and bad management effectively killed off the group by the mid 2000’s. Led by guitarist Whitmore, the band's self titled debut album recorded at the Power Station on Okinawa was filled with highly melodic, well-written three and four chord songs that drew equally from 90’s pop, the sonic assault of AC/DC, and the dark eclecticism of Ozzy Osbourne. Combining a love for British metal with crunching power chords and a flair for leather and glam, Liquid Karma provided the necessary links between heavy metal, punk, and southern rock. "Foreign Land," "Evil in Mind," "D-Major Boos," and "Get Me" are some of their best songs; all in stark contrast to the fashionable music of the day.
The group's relative unfamiliarity with each other may have sown seeds for their future problems, but they jelled surprisingly quickly, with all four members contributing more or less equally to the songwriting on their self-titled debut. Equally important to the band's fortunes, they were able to deliver on-stage what they promised on their recordings -- indeed, these recordings were a surprisingly accurate representation of their actual sound, except that Liquid Karma was even louder live than they were in the studio.
Whitmore especially, lived the guitar-playing gunslinger lifestyle. And to his credit, though he ultimately lacked the focus and leadership skills to consistently guide his band's career, guitarist Jimie Whitmore is a true original on the instrument. Also, being half Japanese, Whitmore is an anomaly in the nearly all-white world of hard rock, and as such imbued much of his work with a sense of alienation; he was the outsider, the romantic guy from the other side of the world, a self-styled poet of the lovelorn and downtrodden. His sweeping vision and writerly impulses at times gave way to pretentious songs aspiring to clichéd notions of paranoia, but Whitmore’s limitless on-stage charisma made even the most misguided moments worth hearing.
After Whitmore’s departure and a short hiatus, the band did carry on with different members in constant rotation.
The band had a few more mild years in the US, but ultimately couldn't survive the loss of Whitmore, who effectively closed the chapter by leaving in 1999; although the group performed for another few years under the helm of Samford as the Karma Blues Band and later as The Liquid Karma Band. The best tracks from these post Whitmore years proves they could still deliver the goods, though usually in a more melodic, blues fashion than their earliest material. Their one fault was that they could never generate more – arguably, The Liquid Karma Band tried but has not yet issued another recording as well received as their first.
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