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Album cover

Karate

595

Karate came out of a scene that prioritized communing with diehard punks through primal performances in derelict spaces. Recordings from the roustabouts of this era were often churned out with a sound quality directly proportional to their creators’ bare incomes and infrequently made in studios. A unit as fine-tuned as Karate sounded in all the subtle ways they parlayed jazz into emo into something indicative of complicated indie rock throughout their studio missives just had to be unstoppable in the flesh. Their posthumously-issued 2007 live recording, 595, confirms what every Karate fan who never saw the band knew in their gut had to be true: they could crush it live. Captured at Stuk Arts Center in the Belgian city of Leuven back in 2003, Karate’s five-hundred ninety-fifth performance stands as the trio’s favorite live recording, and for good reason. It vividly captures the smoldering spirit of their studio work, all the while Karate sound ready to tear off in an unanticipated new direction at any given moment. The group’s catalog exists as a conversation throughout 595, from the tense reimaginings of the most recent material (off 2002’s Some Boots) to the near entropic end of their oldest song in the set, "Caffeine or Me?,” extended here to nearly twice its original length—though it feels like Karate could’ve kept things going for far longer.

Track List

  1. Karate The Roots And The Ruins
  2. Karate Airport
  3. Karate In Hundreds
  4. Karate Original Spies
  5. Karate Number 6
  6. Karate There Are Ghosts
  7. Karate Sever
  8. Karate Caffeine Or Me