(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso)
Karate (1996), 6/10
Secret Stars: The Secret Stars (1996), 5/10
In Place of Real Insight (1997), 6.5/10
The Bed is in the Ocean (1998), 5/10
Secret Stars: Genealogies (1998), 5/10
Geoff Farina: Usonian Dream Sequences (1998), 5/10
Unsolved (2000), 5/10
Geoff Farina: Reverse Eclipse (2000), 5/10
Some Boots (2002), 4.5/10
Pockets (2004), 5/10
Geoff Farina: Glorytellers (2008), 4/10

Vocalist/guitarist Geoff Farina (a graduate from music school where he studied jazz), bassist Eamonn Vitt and drummer Gavin McCarthy (who had just relocated to Boston to study at Boston University) formed Karate in 1993 out of Boston. The early singles were: Death Kit/Nerve (Self Starter Foundation, 1994), The Schwinn (Lonesome Pine, 1995), Cherry Coke (Art Monk Construction, 1995). In 1995 the band added bassist Jeff Goddard (who had moved to Boston in 1987 to study classical music) and Eamnonn Vitt moved to second guitar.

Karate (Southern, 1996) offers melancholy dirges that mix Codeine's slo-core, Fugazi's intensely personal emocore, and the loose structures of progressive-rock. Gasoline and others succeed, but too many songs meander without a destination.

Instruments and vocals are better synchronized on In Place of Real Insight (Southern, 1997), especially on the harsh New Martini.

In 1997 Eamonn left the band for a medicine career.

The singles Operation: Sand/Empty There (Southern, 1998) and Cherry Coke (Art Monk Construction, 1998) came out the same year as third album The Bed is in the Ocean (Southern, 1998). Unfortunately, the band doesn't seem to know how to play as a trio. Farina's guitar "talks" too much and says too little. The interplay with the rhythm section is often awkward or plainly pointless (the lengthy The Same Stars and Up Nights). Rarely (There Are Ghosts, Diazapam, Outside Is The Drama) does the trio wake up and play rock music.

Lounge atmospheres and jazz accents redeem Unsolved (Southern, 2000) but undermine the EP Cancel/Sing (Southern, 2002).

Farina also plays in Secret Stars, that released The Secret Stars (Shrimper, 1996) and Genealogies (Shrimper, 1998), and has released the solo albums Usonian Dream Sequences (Southern, 1998) and Reverse Eclipse (Southern, 2000).

(Translation by/Tradotto da Stefano Letmein)

Il cantante e chitarrista Geoff Farina (diplomato al Conservatorio dove ha studiato jazz), il bassista Eamonn Vitt e il batterista Gavin McCarthy (appena spostatosi a Boston per studi universitari) formarono i Karate nel 1993 a Boston. I primi singoli furono Death Kit/Nerve (Self Starter Foundation, 1994), The Schwinn (Lonesome Pine, 1995), Cherry Coke (Art Monk Construction, 1995). Nel 1995 si unì alla band il bassista Jeff Goddard (arrivato a Boston per studiarvi musica classica) e Eamonn Vitt si spostò alla seconda chitarra.

Karate (Southern, 1996) offre inni desolati che uniscono lo slo-core dei Codeine, l'intenso emocore dei Fugazi, le strutture aperte del progressive rock. Gasoline e altri brani funzionano bene, ma troppe altre canzoni vagano senza alcuna direzione.

Risorse vocali e strumentali sono meglio sincronizzate in In Place of Real Insight (Southern, 1997), soprattutto nella ruvida New Martini.

Nel 1997 Eamonn lascia la band per una carriera in medicina.

I singoli Operation: Sand/Empty There (Southern, 1998) e Cherry Coke (Art Monk Construction, 1998) vedono la luce contemporaneamente al terzo album The Bed is in the Ocean (Southern, 1998). Purtroppo, la band sembra non sapere come si suona in trio. La chitarra di Farina "parla" troppo ma dice troppo poco. L'interplay con la sezione ritmica è spesso goffo o manifestamente privo di senso (le prolisse The Same Stars e Up Nights). Raramente (There Are Ghosts, Diazapam, Outside Is The Drama) il trio si sveglia e suona autentico rock.

Atmosfere lounge e accentuazioni jazzate riscattano Unsolved (Southern, 2000) ma indeboliscono l'EP Cancel/Sing (Southern, 2002).

Farina collabora anche con i Secret Stars, che hanno pubblicato The Secret Stars (Shrimper, 1996) e Genealogies (Shrimper, 1998) e ha pubblicato due album come solista, Usonian Dream Sequences (Southern, 1998) e Reverse Eclipse (Southern, 2000).

Some Boots (Southern, 2002) is a jazz album marketed to a rock audience. First Release and South have strong ideas, but weak execution. Maybe that is the reason why this album is being marketed to the rock audience and not to the jazz audience.

Karate returned with Pockets (Southern, 2004), an odd application of post-rock aesthetics to the laid-back AOR sound of the 1970s (Steve Miller, Santana, Alan Parsons). Water is possibly Karate's most romantic moment ever. Special guest Chris Brokaw (Codeine) beefs up the sound on Cacophony.

(Translation by/Tradotto da Davide Carrozza)

Some Boots (Southern, 2002) è un album jazz venduto a un pubblico rock. First Release e South hanno idee forti, ma esecuzione debole. Forse è la ragione per cui quest'album è stato venduto a un pubblico rock e non a uno jazz.

I Karate tornarono con Pockets (Southern, 2004), una bizzarra applicazione dell'estetica post-rock al suono rilassato AOR degli anni '70 (Steve Miller, Santana, Alan Parsons). Water è probabilmente il momento più romantico dei Karate. L'ospite speciale Chris Brokaw (Codeine) rimpolpa il suono in Cacophony.

Glorytellers (Southern, 2008) is de facto Geoff Farina's singer-songwriter project, one of the least eventful collections of the year.

(Translation by/Tradotto da Nicola Mecca)

Glorytellers (Southern, 2008) è de facto un progetto del cantautore Geoff Farina, una delle raccolte meno memorabili dell’anno.

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