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Although all the signs suggest Boston’s Karate will kung-fu kick your ass into US post-hardcore heaven, ‘Some Boots’ comes out fighting with an altogether more considered and worldly-wise approach.
‘Original Spies’ almost blows the album’s load inside the opening track with a loveable tune encapsulating an anti-war undercurrent with longings to "be original spies” and for people to “grab a pen, turn off the CNN”.
‘First Release’, bizarrely, brings nagging memories of Thin Lizzy’s more reserved moments – Geoff Farina’s lyrical turns and voice soar into Phil Lynott territory and continue throughout. The fact that the subject matter appears to be a long lost rare record is neither here nor there, especially with buried classic lines like “when I’m alone, I want to feel like one kid getting stoned”.
The recurring link throughout ‘Some Boots’ is basically jazz freestyle noodling that breaks into beautifully memorable hooks disguised as choruses and words which are, as ‘In Hundreds’ so succinctly notes, “part nonsense, part lung test”.
With six out of nine tracks smashing the six-minute barrier, a certain level of patience is required to even feel ‘Some Boots’ isn’t passing you by, but perseverance is rewarded with the kind of longevity classic records are made of.
And if you’re looking for all the bleeding-heart outpourings of the dreaded ‘emo’ but without, like, the wimpfuck noncing around, Karate are operating at black belt level.