Tuesday 24 September 2013

Kid Karate - Lights Out EP

EP review by kev@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

Rock music tends to get a bad press, that is unless it's in its more alternative or hybrid forms, and the reason for this is simple: so many of the bands that make straight-ahead rock or heavier sounds are just dull, regurgitated imitations of previous bands that I grew out of when I was about 12. There are few that carry this basic style off without cliché or formula, and it's difficult to love brute force for the sake of brute force. Yeah there are some great experimental, alt-rock and indie-rock bands doing the rounds, and the increasing cross-pollination of genres is keeping things alive. Just. Besides a handful of stadium acts (Biffy, Muse, Foos) bugger all is really selling. Metal does well live, but that's about it. Put bluntly, the rulebook doesn't need ripping up, it needs to be strapped to a rocket, blasted into space and then nuked so we can get back to making music exciting and fresh again.

Dublin duo Kid Karate are a rock band. Whichever ways they, or anyone else, may try and use to dress this up as being any different, much of their music is straight-ahead rock music like bands have been making for over 40 years. What's notable is that the 'Lights Out' EP is actually a good record, and this is in part down to the high standard of songwriting, (but other rock bands have that and sound shit), and mainly due to the sheer enthusiasm and passion that is palpable here. 'Two Times' starts in the same boring way as thousands of songs, but then they chuck in an awesome riff and a sizeable chorus. It's all been done before a million times, yet they do inject some spirit into the song. They do better on 'Heart', this doesn't walk down that well worn path quite so stubbornly, there's more innovation here that hints at a potential willingness to escape the confines of being consigned to the record collection of young teens. Plus it's a better song. By now they've begun to shake off those shackles; 'This City' is another more interesting track, and is a route they'd do well to explore further to prevent them being just another rock band whose album gets four 'K's from Kerrang but is roundly ignored by people with taste. The ending shows how successful raw power can be. 'You Need Violence' is a little too close to those millions of other bands again, so we essentially have half a great EP, and if Kid Karate can venture forward with their music, not tread tired ground, they have the ability to do great things.

Kid Karate's website

Stream the EP in full

Buy the EP

Catch them live:

Sep 25 Macbeth, London, UK
Sep 27 Leopard, Doncaster, UK
Sep 28 UNDERGROUND FESTIVAL @ Guildhall, Gloucester, UK
Sep 30 Fallow Cafe, Manchester, UK
Oct 01 Moochers, Stourbridge, UK
Oct 02 East Village Arts Club, Liverpool, UK
Oct 03 Plug, Sheffield, UK
Oct 04 Duchess, York, UK
Oct 05 Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds, UK
Oct 07 Kasbah, Coventry, UK
Nov 02 LONDON CALLING FESTIVAL @ Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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