Based out of L.A. Hot Karate are three guys from completely different backgrounds (Cyrus Ghahremani produces content for Funny or Die and Vice, Rob Krauss works with video, Adam Subhas is a PHD-level scientist). Their hard rock music combines 80’s inspired lead vocals with heavily distorted guitars, almost as distorted bass and hard hitting drums. There are a couple things to note about their album, Finger Food. The first thing is that Hot Karate likes to jam out on their respective instruments kind of like the band Rush or Yes. Ghahremani often has bass solos that are technically proficient as well as fun to rock to. These songs are fun, unpretentious songs that sound much bigger than three guys. Take for instance the first track on the album entitled “Supermoon.” This epic song is a bit deceiving in that it starts with nothing but airy synths, which have you thinking this may be an ambient album. You realize this is not the case when out of nowhere you hear thunderous toms and distorted guitars. The song literally goes from spacey atmospheres to sounding like Rush in the first two minutes. The song changes a lot in its eight-plus minutes making great music for ADD intensive listeners like myself.
The good times continue on in “Baby Police” as Hot Karate continues to flex their technically proficient muscles. They pack a good amount of rock n roll in this song and I was starting to wish I could hear this band live at this point. (I'm thinking they should call up Spinal Tap and see if they could open for them). “Beefy Boof” is one of the more intense songs as the BPM seems to have been increased some while “Bolillos” they decided to take things down a notch. (I especially loved the German circus section – yeah, just listen to it and you should know what I'm talking about). Both “Japan” and “Blood Sausage” are high octane rages but the album ends with ballad entitled “Diluwar” Clean guitars get dirtier and more distorted before the bands dissipates completely only to end the album with a hypnotic layer of white noise.
The bottom line is that Finger Food is pretty rad and is a no brainer for those of us who were born in the mid-to-late 70’s. The younger generation may be inclined to dismiss this music at first because of the 80’s type vibe but I encourage those listeners to give this a shot and check out Hot Karate.
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