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The Bed Is In the Ocean

Karate

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Album Review

Karate's third full-length album showcases the Massachusetts' quartet's knack for simple indie rock instrumentation and emo-esque lyrics. "The Same Stars" starts off with an extended jazzy introduction, giving way to Geoff Farina's soulful crooning and the impending jazz-indie rock fusion. "Diazapam" begins with a funky experimental guitar line before Farina's vocals check in to control the pace with his most demanding vocal presence so far on the disc. His energy creates an aural splendor throughout the song, but that energy is not continued on the next track, "The Last Wars," which is another of the band's subtle ballads. "Bass Sounds" is, as its title would suggest, a bass-heavy anthem full of metaphors from the engaging Farina. The minimalist instrumentation on "Fatal Strategies" serves to give more room for Farina's voice to stretch out. The same strategy is used on many of the other songs on The Bed Is in the Ocean. The soft introductory tone on "Not to Call the Police" leads to a song that is classic Karate: simple, direct, emotional, and effortlessly enchanting. Like the album's artwork, which features a series of Legos toy pieces, the album is thoughtfully assembled to create a unique piece of art. The Bed Is in the Ocean was recorded in early 1998 at Salad Days Studios in Norwood, MA, and was mastered at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London. It was released on Southern Records later that year.

Customer Reviews

they begin their foray into jazz rock

This is Karate's third album and probably my favorite, seemlessly mixing jazz-rock with an indie sensibility. I've read elsewhere that this is what your Advanced Jazz Professor would play if he was into Fugazi. I'd say that's pretty apt, as this really does sound like an almost jazzier version of said group. Geoff Farina's voice isn't that captivating, and their music isn't the greatest I've ever heard, however, they do it so well that you can't help but be impressed.

Biography

Formed: 1993 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Karate began in Boston. Geoff Farina (vocals, guitar), Eamonn Witt (bass), and Gavin Mcarthy (drums) formed the post-rock combo in 1993, and within a year had issued the "Death Kit" 7". "The Schwinn" followed a year later; bassist Jeff Goddard also joined up at this point, with Witt moving to second guitar. The band's eponymous full-length also appeared from Southern, and Karate toured aggressively, appearing both domestically and in Europe. In 1997, Witt departed, while Farina, Mcarthy, and Goddard...
Full Bio
The Bed Is In the Ocean, Karate
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