Some fans of Kasabian may have often wondered what happened to Chris Karloff, an early member of the band who parted ways with the rest of the group before the release of the second album Empire.
Having crossed my mind the other day, I decided to do a bit of research on the mystery man, and was surprised to find that he is still alive and kicking, and has returned to the music scene in the shape of his new venture, Black Onassis.
Though Kasabian have gone on to become one of Britain’s biggest bands, it is impossible to ignore the contribution made by Karloff as a founding member; after all, he was responsible for most of the songwriting on the hit self-titled debut album, including hits such as Club Foot and L.S.F.
Many fans have suggested that since Karloff’s departure, Kasabian have never been the same band. For me, Serge Pizzorno has done an excellent job of taking on the creative responsibility, and the band have recovered well from that tumult to continually produce high quality output.
Nevertheless, Karloff was, and seemingly still is, a talented musician. Having learnt of his latest band, I decided to visit their website and listen to the three tracks that have already been made available.
Karloff’s early Kasabian influence is apparent in a heavy way; psychedelic electonic riffs with edgy guitars and big bass lines. And I have to say I’m pretty impressed.
Karloff was always a character who provoked intrigue, and here is another teaser of his abilities. The tracks seem to feature vocals from guests, the highlight being the appearance of former Cooper Temple Clause frontman Ben Gautrey on the standout track Brain, which you can enjoy below.
An album is rumoured to be in the pipeline, though details are sketchy. It is certainly something I’ll be looking out for though.
For now, it is worth considering that Black Onassis may be an interesting insight into the direction that Kasabian may have taken had Karloff remained in the band.