Review Summary: My biggest problem with I the Mighty: the name.
When I was first recommended this EP, I thought that I'd be dealing with some forgettable metalcore band with a name just as original as the music. Clearly I had never heard of I the Mighty before, and my bad judgement almost led to a great EP going right over my head. Don't get me wrong, they are breaking no genre walls or pioneering a new sound. But for what it is, Karma Never Sleeps has a memorable charm to it similar to the kind I find in Secret & Whisper's Teenage Fantasy. It could be because of either the talented vocalist or just my longing for progressive tinged post-hardcore; Regardless I the Mighty, Equal Vision Records' newest member, has crafted a worthwhile debut.
The San Francisco quartet's six songs clock in at about twenty-four minutes-neither too long nor too short. Additionally, in regards to order of songs, Karma Never Sleeps feels very cohesive, with a well defined beginning, middle and end. The beginning is not abrupt and feels like a proper beginning, and the end is satisfying with no feeling of loose ends. In this way there's a very slight but surprising sense of immersion.
The vocals and lead guitar are the strongest aspects of I the Mighty. The vocalist, when singing with power shows brief glimpses of Secret & Whisper circa 2010-and interestingly at softer times sounds a bit like Anthony Raneri of Bayside (see Dancing on a Tightrope). As far as the instrumentals go, the guitar stands out the most with great technical riffs throughout every song. At times, and with all band members in unison, they achieve a great ambient sound as well (see the latter half of Cutting Room Floor). The downside, however, is that at some points the EP fails to stay fresh...specifically around the fourth song, the Frame III. Fortunately Karma Never Sleeps finishes on a strong note with the best it has to offer, Escalators.
With a little more personality, I can see I the Mighty gaining a following with fans of Closure in Moscow and the like. Until then, Karma Never Sleeps will do. It's a great, but definitely not perfect label debut with a fantastic musical aesthetic.....all they have to do now is change their name! (kidding).