Normally where fame is concerned, you only get one bite at the cherry. Obviously this is not the case for Richard Arnold and Michael Carter, whose experiences as 2/3 of the shortlived but vastly underrated Moho*bisho*pi would have been enough to put most people off for life. Their tenure with V2 Records may have come to an abrupt and unamicable parting of ways, culminating in the band's eventual demise, yet this has only spurred messrs Arnold and Carter onto greater things.
The International Karate Plus are a three-piece (drummer Chris Sklavounos completes the line-up) based in Cardiff, and although their most obvious musical brethren can be traced back to City Slang artists such as Pavement ('Boxelder' is covered in a symbollic show of homage here) and Superchunk, there's also an irresistable charm prevalent throughout the other four tracks on offer here.
Kicking off with the whimsically meandering 'Hats Off To Harry Kewell', Arnold sings about boys in the hood, eating ice cream and watching TV while the aforementioned Liverpool striker never crops up in the song once. Which is how it should be.
'Nexus In A Chain Of Thought' and 'Black Christmas' both share the same racing pulse from start to finish that once made Urusei Yatsura the most exciting band in Britain, while 'A Century Sound' sounds like Dinosaur Jr covering The Cure (which I'm led to believe they once did).
Although 'Karate Kills' has been packaged as an EP (and is available for a small pittance via the band's official website), there are at least three potential singles here in their own right, and with a sudden upsurge of interest in all things Pixie this summer, expect to see one or two contractual offers being thrown at The International Karate Plus in the not too distant future.
8Dom Gourlay's Score