Karate is no more and among the six studio albums, it's difficult to pinpoint a favorite and it's simply complicate to have one because there is none I can adhere to completely.
Lots of jazz-rock / math-rock / punk-rock oriented tracks and only a very few completely balanced and sensitive.
Nine songs on this fourth album but only three of them really successful, precious, the first track and the two last ones where the slowcore inclination really blooms and uses only the best parts of math-rock and post-rock, coming close to the works of bands like Codeine, C-Clamp or Seam. The six other tracks are already outdated.
On “The Angel Just Have to Show”, guitar, bass and drums are offering a perfect setting of dynamic restraint where Geoff Farina develops quiet emotional vocals before the melodic theme comes back for a perfect minimal and tense exploration.
“This Days Next Year” is just a wonderful emotional slowcore song, with a a very slow crescendo of melancholic tension, as the context and landscape are slowly build until a final superb and totally moving instrumental second part which is without doubt their best moment ever, their ultimate classic song. The first time I've listened to this song ten years ago, on a discman, walking somewhere in Brussels, the emotional charge was so strong and unique than the visual sequence, the exact place, the streets, the weather are still perfectly recorded in my memory.
"Small Fires" is full of heavy feelings, bitterness, despair, but the walk, the life, goes on. There is something inexhaustible with this song, as you are forced to stop and to think, with old deep healed wounds acute and opened once again.