Out of step with a scene that spent nearly a generation growing on land tilled by teenaged punks down in D.C, Karate still found ways to make their subtle and serene passages land with all the intensity that animated their peers’ work. While Karate established themselves as a legitimate mover in Boston music, they simultaneously anchored themselves in a bustling nationwide movement ossified through small record distributors and zines with hundreds or thousands of readers. And what better way to do that than partner with some pals on a split 7”, a rite of passage for ’90s punks both broke and unknown—more often than not, they were usually both. In 1996, Karate issued two such records with friends within their tight network. They leaned into their slowcore proclivities on “The Schwinn” for a split 7” with The Lune, a Boston band that would soon supply Karate with a bassist: Jeff Goddard. On “Cherry Coke,” Karate amplified their seasoned splendor with a melodic thrush muscular enough to rattle rib-cages, a perfect pairing for the record they released with The Crownhate Ruin, a D.C. post-hardcore unit that specialized in coiled acidity; that 7” came out on Art Monk Construction, an overlooked purveyor in an early form of the sound occasionally called emocore. “Cherry Coke” articulated the molten messiness every other emo band at the time struggled to make sense of, and Karate’s sloshing rhythms and bristling riffs did a better job of dusting up loud-quiet-loud dynamics than any faceless alt-rock act flogged on corporate radio. “The Schwinn” and “Cherry Coke” captured the band’s enigmatic majesty from different angles, showing that Karate could further explore their omnidirectional whims while firmly maintaining their place in punk. And the emo ecosystem that would surface in the mainstream within a few years grew in part because of Karate, a band whose unclassifiable catalog illuminated any scene it touched.
supported by 27 fans who also own “Cherry Coke b/w The Schwinn”
A fantastic album. I can see why they didn't continue under the name The Evens, as it's a different sound with the bass added. Coriky is the Evens + Joe Lally from Fugazi on bass. If you can imagine The Evens with a slightly more funky, aggressive sound like Fugazi... that's what you get! And there's no way that can ever go wrong. What a great debut album!! smiledozer
supported by 20 fans who also own “Cherry Coke b/w The Schwinn”
Sludge, Shoegaze, Atmospheric, Heavy Metal, Alt-metal, you name it. This album has it all, and it is perfect. It came out during a rough time period of my life and others lives too. It's been the soundtrack for all of my pain. Thank you Hum tawper
supported by 19 fans who also own “Cherry Coke b/w The Schwinn”
A group that I know only too well, I’ve been with them for nearly 30 years; from their Glaswegian basement origins to their current status as Arena band. My enthusiasm for their later output may have tempered somewhat as the mighty ‘Gwai evolved their sound to avoid pigeonholing, but there is nothing better than when they lay waste to a venue via the sheer euphoria of ‘Helicon 1’. They’re still devastating live and, after all those years, THE authority in Instrumental Rock music. Logen Ninefingers