Get this crazy baby off my head!



Karate - The Bed Is In The Ocean - 1998 - Southern Records

Throughout their seven-year career, Boston based post-rockers Karate shifted gradually from a controlled, minimal punkrock sound to a more instrumentally focused style with an increasingly prominent place for Geoff Farina's jazzy guitar playing. Arguably, they were at their very best just in between. While their debut "Karate" (1995) suffered somewhat from the fact that Farina's beautifully quiet-yet-loud vocal style wasn't completely developed yet (he cracked a few false notes here and there), their latest effort "Unsolved" (2001) was a bit too crammed with jazzy guitar leads to live up to their early minimalist appeal. Of the two records released in between, "In place of real insight" (1997) and "The bed is in the ocean"(1999), the latter struck a perfect balance between the bare-essence ethics of punkrock and the soothing, beautiful sound of an intimate jazz combo. It was jazzrock without the egos. It was punk with brains and a heart and it was half an hour of beautiful, captivating songs without a single boring moment. What is most impressive about this record is the remarkably intense way in which it sheds new light on musically well documented emotions like anger, loss and everyday struggle. In a refreshingly sincere and understated way Farina, Goddard and McCarthy completely circumvent all cliches and pitfalls that come with the territory. All recordings were made in Farina's living room, giving it a very relaxed and intimate feel. The record has a very sparse but carefully constructed sound with equal parts of rock, punk and jazz, but far more minimal than each of those. The recording is a mere registration: there are no effects, no productional tricks, just a warm, clear guitar sound with a mild tube overdrive, a punchy bass guitar with a round tone and a small, well recorded and well played drum kit. - by & © irexe, Sun Apr 07 2002 at 16:22:06 - All content copyright © original author unless stated otherwise. http://everything2.com/title/The+bed+is+in+the+ocean

The Geoff Farina fronted band Karate were branded with that clunkiest of tags: 'indie jazz' - not denoting that they're a jazz band on an indie label, but rather that they're an indie rock band dabbling in jazz. While that sounds like a nightmare scenario for fans of jazz, or for that matter indie rock, the band ably and articulately riffed on a more solidified take on the wayward meanderings of Pavement, taking a run down, rather lo-fi starting point and clashing together great, intelligent songwriting with artful, exploratory instrumental breakdowns. This album was released ten years ago, and now finds itself reissued almost four years since the band called it quits in 2005. The songs remain sharp, exuding an effortless cool, but there's also an element of understated craft at work here that's all-but unheard of in the genre. - Boomkat product review © Boomkat Ltd. https://boomkat.com/cds/158812-karate-the-bed-is-in-the-ocean
ALL IS QUIET ON THE EASTERN FRONT. WELL, it is in Karate's Boston quarters, at least. On 'The Bed Is In The Ocean', their third album, Karate resume their explorations into pensive, slow-burning jazzcore and stream of subconsciousness prose. And, as always, it's a beautiful trek. Everywhere you turn, emotions are taut yet confused. A constant Iyrical theme develops whereby corporeal rage battles for space with world-weary cynicism and scholarly analysis. Sometimes you feel vocalist Geoff Farina's outlook is so bleak he shouldn't even be on the planet let alone in America - where all the great injustices of civilisation seem more absurd and desensitised. Still, for the sake of great noise, they battle on. Despite Karate's muso background, Farina's inspiration is pure and simple. On 'There Are Ghosts' he takes great poetic solace in nature: "That famous sound that the snow makes under my feet when a snowfall too cold for a snowball falls/And saves me from my impending week". Sorrowful as it gets? Maybe. A necessary sonic experience? You bet. 8/10 © IPC MEDIA 1996-2014, All rights reserved © http://www.nme.com/reviews/karate/326

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. © Stephen Cramer © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-bed-is-in-the-ocean-mw0000672001

Another great album of indie-rock, punk, blues, jazz and post-rock by the brilliant jazz-indie rock fusion band Karate masterminded by the often enigmatic guitarist, vocalist and hugely talented songwriter Geoff Farina. The album is full of wonderful, subtle, understated jazzy-chords, great vocals from Geoff Farina, and brilliant songs. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. During Karate’s relatively short career, the band received a lot of acclaim and also some severe criticism. Karate was a great band, and would have improved, a band who is to be admired for "doing their own thing" and not bowing to commercial pressure. Buy Karate's superb 1997 "In Place Of Real Insight" album, and listen to their post break-up live 595' album. Geoff Farina's "Blobscape" album is also an excellent jazz based album. For another great band who also have their fair share of critics, but who constantly retain their uncommercial musical credibility, listen to the brilliant "Hats" album by the somewhat enigmatic Blue Nile [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 74.6 Mb]


1 There Are Ghosts 3:39
2 The Same Stars 6:20
3 Diazapam 3:23
4 The Last Wars 3:37
5 Bass Sounds 2:14
6 Up Nights 6:21
7 Fatal Strategies 3:25
8 Outside is the Drama 4:23
9 Not to Call the Police 5:00

All tracks composed by Geoff Farina


Geoff Farina - Guitar, Vocals
Eamonn Witt, Jeff Goddard - Bass
Gavin Mcarthy - Drums


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 released In Place of Real Insight. The Bed Is in the Ocean followed quickly after. By this point, the group had refined its sound, removing the choppy, indie/emo elements in favor of a more disciplined approach that emphasized its jazz influence. Unsolved dropped in 2000, followed by the Cancel/Sing EP a year later. The latter featured two extended pieces that were the strongest example yet of Karate's measure, yet very humanistic post-rock. Southern issued Some Boots in 2002, and after another round of live dates began work on a new, eight-song release. [Concurrent to Farina's work with Karate was the Secret Stars, his music and community-building project with artist Jodi Buonanno.] © Johnny Loftus © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/karate-mn0000852937/biography

1 comment:

A.O.O.F.C said...


P/W is aoofc