Berlin's Kadavar Exudes Bearded, Fuzzy Blues At Double Door Thursday
By Casey Moffitt in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 23, 2014 4:35PM
Anyone jonesing for some heavy, bottom-ended fuzzy blues? Then head on over to the Double Door tomorrow night to check out the Berlin-based power trio, Kadavar. You must really need that fix to check out the show though, as Kadavar really hasn't expanded on what we've already heard before in that vein. If 70s rock bands could procreate, Kadavar would be the love child of Black Sabbath and Scorpions and it really doesn't stray too far from that territory.
That's not a terrible place to be as a rock band. In fact we'll take it over a truckload of other stuff that's being passed off as rock 'n' roll. Heavy blues is a lot of fun, big dumb guitar riffs are a lot of fun, heavy-handed drums are a lot of fun and booming bass tones are a lot of fun. The problem is that there have been a lot of acts since the late 60s that have tread this well-beaten path, so anyone walking down a similar one kind of needs to add a little something more. The guitar solos have to be out of this world, the singer must really nail their parts or the drummer has to be just a bit more wild. This is where Kadavar falls a little short. The band is a fun listen, but they lack that little extra something to really make it more than just that.
Listening to the band's debut self-titled album is a perfect example. The Sabbath comparison is inescapable as they have aped that classic material to an almost academic standard. Even the tones on the guitars and especially the bass have nearly been lifted from Masters of Reality, and the material doesn't expand beyond the Sabbath school. But the riffs aren't quite as catchy and the solos aren't as blistering, nor do they don't give us absurd hippie horse manure lyrics. The exception on the album is "Purple Sage," which basically is a Hawkwind knock off. On their latest release, Abra Kadavar, the band strays a bit from the Sabbath - but not far - to incorporate some early-era Scorpions. O.K., we understand the danger of comparing a German rock band to Scorpions, but listen to In Trance, or Virgin Killers and convince yourself it's not all over Abra Kadavar.
Kadavar does have the occasional breakout song like "Tomorrow's Dead," where the band takes the listener on a smooth, hazy trip that is out there. Still, Kadavar is kind of like that brand new Dodge Challenger that's just rolled off the line. It's got the look and feel of the classic and it's actually a blast to drive, but it's still going to get its doors blown off by a two-toned 1968 Chevy Impala Super Sport that's being held together with Bondo and duct tape. It's an adequate substitute, but they just don't quite make them like they used to.
Kadarvar performs at Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave., at 8:30 p.m. Thursday April 24. $10. 21 and older.