As the name suggests, psychedelic/progressive outfit Karmic Juggernaut is an overwhelming force of sound. Known for their intense musicianship, unique songwriting, and the soaring vocals of singer Daimon Santa Maria, the Asbury Park-based band has amassed a cult following in recent years.
The group released their debut full-length album, The Dreams That Stuff Are Made Of, in 2018. Recorded and mixed at their NJ studio, The Hangar, the album was a departure from the band’s earlier recordings, featuring new frontman Daimon Santa Maria, keyboardist Jake Hughes, a robust horn section (Joe Gullace & Ian Gray), mallet work by percussionist AJ Merlino, theremin by bassist Cody McCorry, and an array of other instruments. The result is a vintage-inspired album with a postmodern view of psychedelia. The record garnered several accolades including an Independent Music Award for Top Funk/Fusion Album and the praises of legendary drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Winery Dogs, Sons of Apollo) who put the album in his Top 10 of the year noting “shades of King Crimson, Zappa, Mr Bungle, Bigelf, The Mars Volta, Yes…”.
Karmic Juggernaut’s sophomore LP, entitled Phantasmagloria, was released on April 28th, 2023. Phantasmagloria is a full-length concept album born out of the pandemic, dealing with themes of idol-worship, runaway conspiracies, anti-intellectualism, the occult, and lucid dreaming. The record takes place within a “lost” radio broadcast from the fictional WKRM The Kream (also the band’s private label), a concept explored The Dreams That Stuff Are Made Of (2018). Phantasmagloria is now available via digital download, streaming on all platforms, vinyl, and CD.
In addition to their work with KJ, the members of the group are involved in a plethora of projects including Cody McCorry’s own We Used To Cut The Grass (occasionally featuring Ike Willis of Frank Zappa’s band), Thank You Scientist, Homeless Apians, Bone and Marrow, Hive Mind, Ocean Avenue Stompers, and many more.
Kevin Grossman – drums, percussion
Jake Hughes – keyboards
James McCaffrey – guitar, vocals
Cody McCorry – bass, theremin, saw
Randy Preston – guitar, vocals
Daimon Santa Maria – vocals, flute
Ian Gray – trombone
Joe Gullace – trumpet
Joonas Lemetyinen – trombone
AJ Merlino – percussion, vibes
Damn! Just got turned onto this amazing psychedelic progressive jazzy band and am BLOWN AWAY! I‘m definitely now a fan and this is also definitely in my Top 10 Of 2018. Shades of King Crimson, Zappa, Mr Bungle, Bigelf, The Mars Volta, Yes…..BRAVO” (Mike Portnoy – Drummer of Dream Theater, Winery Dogs, Adrenaline Mob, Sons of Apollo)
“There is so much going on in there. It is a really, really interesting album to check out…Pushing the boundaries which is what prog is all about. You definitely, definitely need to check this album out. It’s outstanding.” (The Progmeister – Midlands Metalheads Radio)
Fusing funk, psychedelia, metal, prog-rock, and jam into an exquisitely eclectic elixir, K-Juggs dares to explore what happens when a band combines hard-rock sensibilities with a willingness to let go and explore the unknown.â€ (Matt Ascone – Speak Into My Good Eye)