A K Karney Music 2018
San Francisco social-minded chanteuse shapes up a new context for her ever-fresh creations to shine a light in the darkest of ages.
There’s more to this singer than a few singles and one full-length offering, as she’s been around for a long time, lending a hand to more famous artists and composing tunes for “Escape from Monkey Island” and other video games. While the lady is no less adventurous with a band of her own, it must take a solid album to prove such a point, which is why “No Mercy” has a chance to become Anna Karney’s defining moment, a statement of defiance in the face of our era’s adversity – or simply a number of interesting compositions that will keep the listener on their toes.
Anna doesn’t keep her emotions in check, the title track’s triumphant riff introducing Karney’s effervescent delivery whose alt. rock edge cuts into the piece’s social issues – the record’s recurrent theme – with some panache, as guitars rage and soar, before more down-to-earth songs reveal the writer’s folk leanings. No one would pinpoint her as a riot grrrl, then, yet the raucous “I Got Mine” is possessed with a punk-patented sharpness and is propelled by stampede instead of beat. On the other end of stylistic range, brass licks smooth “I Got The Light” in a soulful ’70s manner, and splintered voices of the rousing hymn “Beautiful Day” dance like mirrors, whereas “Manifest Destiny” takes its sparse expanse towards serious glam rock.
The angry vocal polyphony of “Wild Green” is contrasted with a desert drone and offset with a radio-like voice reciting anxious poem about spiritual revolution, and “Restless Wind” unfurls into a simple acoustic ballad, so there’s always a shift in the mood. As a result, “Hold On” may channel hope via infectiously countrified groove, yet the confused swirl in “Speed Of A Bullet” should reflect a less hilarious reality, the American dream going awry in the absense of gun control. Still, with “9 Lines (In The 21st Century)” getting resolved in mesmeric reggae, Anna Karney doesn’t let go of this dream; she asks no mercy – she offers help.