We first became a big fan of the precocious and prolific Charles (a.k.a. Chaz, Chazter, “Chuck”) Kavoossi and his band with Davis Rowan, Tyler Summerfelt & Bryan Ziliox, THINK, way back in 2006 after they won the Anne Arundel County Battle of the Bands and earned the ability to do a wonderful anti-smoking PSA in AA County's Kick Butt campaign.
THINK, contemporaries of Pompeii Graffiti, performed locally at Manhattan Beach and Woods Memorial in Severna Park, and Eastport Democratic Club - where we believe there are still some classic bumperstickers planted decoratively on their flagpole and building soffit by enthusiastic fangirls.
We were reunited with Charles about three years ago, when he returned home to Annapolis to set down roots and play around. We’re very happy to have him back home – and you can hear a great (People Are Strange by Andy & JK) interview about those in-between, "lost," years here:
In addition, Andrew Muir’s got a great review of Charles’ new album, Repent To Karma, for you below where you can also listen. You'll want to purchase a copy of the album for yourself - we guarantee it. (And, fyi... we’re hearing from a little bird that there might be some new THINK projects coming in the near future too... Stay tuned to Naptownmusic for more about that!)
"Repent To Karma" debuts the songwriting of Charles Kavoossi - lead singer and guitarist of Kavoossi. The album features 12 dynamic, catchy indie-rock tunes, which were co-produced by Aaron Wold and Charles Kavoossi at Mobtown Studios in Baltimore, MD, hometown to Kavoossi.
Guests artists include:
There’s something very familiar and natural feeling about “Repent to Karma” by Charles Kavoossi. Like that comfortable old t-shirt you’ve worn a million times but you still get compliments about it everywhere you go. That’s not to say that Kavoossi’s music is played out or been done before. It captures the qualities of some of the best in rock ‘n roll music while firmly setting itself apart. “Repent to Karma” is precise with a simple and solid combination of guitar, bass and backbeat, compelling harmonies and vocals, straightforward lyrics, and an undeniable sound.
Kavoossi certainly draws inspiration from some more modern artists: there’s plenty of Weezer in this and Spoon to add to the mix of bands mentioned in the artist intro. It’s also important to note some of the old school inspirations and comparisons that Kavoossi evokes. Two who come to mind are John Lennon’s gritty solo years, and Billy Joel before he didn’t start the fire. Kavoossi is able to channel that nonchalant “this is special because I’m not trying to be special” style that both Lennon and Joel mastered. There’s an edge to his music behind a seemingly sweet exterior but once you get in, it's very deep venture, making you think and feel with raw emotions and energy.
The album kicks off with “House Sound,” a fine party mix of up-tempo guitars, synthesizers, fast paced drums, and catchy vocals. Kavoossi likes to say that the song was borne out of his days working at Crate & Barrel, listening to the retailer's music. “Out of Time” is an amazing display of indie rock explosiveness with a wonderful chorus. Though some have suggested that it is Beatle-esque, that might not be a fair comparison. It stands strongly as its own and draws much more from contemporary influence than yesterday’s legends. There may be some classic elements that are McCartney-like, such as the stripped down vocal intro with a strong clean melody, building to impeccable harmonies, but the actual delivery is original and modern - a breath of fresh air.
The excitement really gets going with “Mannequin Girls.” Kavoossi plays friendly in the first two tunes but gets down to some bad-ass, suave sophistication on this one. He keeps a lot of the same tricks but throws in some more twists to the recipe. “I dig a hole in the dirt, so no one sees because I don’t have confidence. I keep the shades of my windows down in the day.” The song has a great balance of up and down vibrations and the production is absolutely perfect. The main guitar riff is nasty and there’s a great lead to close it out.
“Holes In My Heart” is another magical curveball that conjures some of the best in vocal stylings similar to Billy Joel’s rough around the edges but best years. The song is a delicate bounce of smooth and choppy acoustic guitar riffs. It’s a great remembrance of what it’s like to reflect on the past while moving on to better things. Lyrics such as “No one sees me like she sees me, these windows have a glare,” shows the complexity in feelings that often come along with being close to someone.
"Pavlovian Dog," reflects Kavoossi's eloquence and ease in crafting well-knit lyrics. He manages to be conversational and poetic in the same breath - not an easy feat.
“Trip and Fall” continues the soul as charted in “Holes In My Heart” and carries the theme quite well. It’s a triumphant love song that isn’t perfect. It openly celebrates how sometimes people stumble into a good thing. Kavoossi seems extremely comfortable in the vocal arrangements and he displays his full range from a slow and steady breakdown to a louder and higher chorus of: “You made me trip and fall in love.”
“Repent to Karma” is a freight train of wild emotions and it’s beautiful from start to finish. It’s perfectly placed in the latter portion of the album and lets Kavoossi and company let loose. “You got me running, round and round like a roller coaster babe” is a catchy yet poignant chorus line that is sure to get the crowd fired up in a live version of the album’s title cut.
“Blue Eyed Jesus” turns things into a full out folk romp, and it’s a great infusion of fun and twang. Kavoossi maintains his signature style throughout while keeping it a true bluegrass clash with indie folk.
“Purple” is a wonderful sweeping send off. It’s a sweet and touching love song that covers the challenges of distance, time, and changes in the heart. Kavoossi is once again able to show he’s got plenty of soul to burn and he shines as strongly as ever to wrap things up. There are especially some beautiful chord progressions and changes on this one, as he sings: “I’ll keep you safe, as you make me feel strong.”
In closing, we note that Charles Kavoossi is an amazing star on the rise in the Naptown/Baltimore/Bowie music scene and thanks to his dedication, passion, and impressive range of abilities, it will be exciting to watch him reap his own well-earned musical karma.