Karate

Karate

The Bed is in the Ocean

Southern

The third album from Karate, and while there aren’t any surprises here, it’s good to see that this band has continued to mature in a good way. Their last two albums are staples in my car, perfect for long, thoughtful drives, and (once I tape it) this one sounds like it will be, too. Guitars brush melodies tinged with blues, rock through an atmosphere with a healthy respect for space, while the drums and bass nestle in for the perfect fit. Quiet and sparse give way to a build of urgency and power and either style is appreciated. Music that is delicate yet strong, beautifully executed. There are fewer moments of rock on this one, but the quieter songs are okay by me, too.

Geoff Farina’s unmistakable narrative lyrics and sometimes sung, sometimes spoken vocal style remains intact. In fact, the singing sounds stronger than ever. See, no surprises. It’s the Karate of yore, just a little more ripened. Wonderful. Southern Records, P.O. Box 577375, Chicago, IL 60657; http://www.southern.com

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