Get exclusive deals, news, and more when you sign up for our newsletter.
"On Pockets, Karate shed their post-rock trappings entirely, sublimating emo and jazz beneath a patina of polished, intuitive 70s pop-rock. These concise songs feel effortless in a way that belies their understated technical proficiency, and are so seamlessly sequenced that the mood-- breezy and jazzy, yet dark and deliberately unfolding-- is airtight. Farina metes out sharp, oblique narratives that in his resonant and ascetically emotive voice, and Pockets attains the confluence of instinctive aural appeal, hard-won technical ability, and refined vision of which year-end lists are made.
A record of such stark beauty and discreet drama could only open with a flourish, and the first quavering chord of "With Age" is a gloved hand drawing back a velvet curtain. It establishes a formula that flexes through many permutations of mood and color over the remainder of the album: Clean, bright guitars that swing at a peppy mid-tempo or ponderously bend and stress; melodic, fleet basslines; a wash of supple percussion; and fluid dynamic shifts interleaved with cadenced, organic guitar solos.
"Water" is a spacious masterpiece of quietly seething atmosphere, as Farina intones, "I want to take you to dinner but you'd rather hang out in rest stops/ Engaging in discourse better scratched into desktops," over minimal percussion and a liquid arpeggio. The staccato, uptempo swing of "The State I'm In, a.k.a. Goode Buy from Cobbs Creek Park" is a boisterous lament of working class struggles. And "Cacophony"-- one of two songs that features supplementary guitar from Codeine's Chris Brokaw-- unfurls woozy, meandering melodies over martial drumming in a procession of grand crests and expanses of arid ambiance.
By all rights, Karate-- 10 years and six albums into their career-- should be recording limp rehashes of old material by now. But the most striking thing about Pockets is how fresh and vital it sounds. Pockets is a lens through which Farina flows pure and unfettered, focused into one puissant beam. No longer the artist who dabbles, his production is enriched and amplified by the harmonization of all the false starts, fragmentary ideas, and assimilated styles that he's amassed in his pursuit of transcendence." - Pitchfork 8.2/10
Choose a currency below to display product prices in the selected currency.