Z-list celebrity-creating pseudo-reality TV show ‘Fade St.’ has a lot of things to apologise for but Kid Karate certainly isn’t one of them. In fact the band is an unforeseen by-product of the show and is its only saving grace. Expectations for the Dublin duo’s début four-track EP ‘Lights Out’ have been heightened thanks to a series of hilarious and breathtaking high-octane live shows which have marked them apart from the hordes of bands in Dublin.
Kid Karate unleash their guitar/drum/vox volcano straight away with single Two Times which is about as subtle as a YouTube street brawl. Kevin Breen vocalist/guitarist teeters on the edge as he lays down a quagmire of distortion and angsty vocals as drummer Steven Gannon tries to play ringmaster whilst simultaneously egging his companion on. American influences abide but Two Times’ chorus grabs you in such a way that this almost becomes irrelevant.
Heart continues the doctrine that one Big Muff isn’t enough with riffs that are impossibly rich and thick like triple chocolate cake. The inclusion of placid piano breaks and electro loops indicate influences beyond QOTSA such as LCD Soundsystem. When Breen bellows “If I had a heart I would love you” classic male commitment issues shine through making the track universally accessible. An ’80s vibe permeates the octave key, bass and delayed guitar stab out the intro to This City and the lyrics 180 on the male commitment issues through the verses: “I think we should start a family,” while the choruses lament the vacuous lifestyle of city living: “in this city you’re dead.”
‘Lights Out’ is the perfect precursor for Kid Karate’s début album ‘Night Terrors’ due to drop later this year. No doubt comparisons with The White Stripes, Giveamanakick and indeed Cast Of Cheers’ side project Charmers will be forthcoming and somewhat justified but Kid Karate can more than hold their own at an advanced level of combat.