Boomkat Product Review:
Boston hardcore subversives Karate liquefied the Fugazi to Unwound jaggedness of their debut on this sophomore album, introducing jazzy instrumental flourishes and confident, emo vocals.
By the time 1997 rolled by, America's obsession with angry hardcore had begun to wane, giving way to softer, more decorative sound palettes. Karate responded by refusing to stay in one place for more than a moment, veering between punky intensity ('New Martini', 'New New'), slowcore softness ('Wake Up, Decide', 'On Cutting') and tangled jazz/prog musicality ('Die Die', 'This, Plus Slow Song').
"In Place of Real Insight" is the New England outfit's most beloved album because it crams so much into nine tracks. All confident players, the band were clearly brimming with ideas that would buoy an ailing scene. There's a sniff of Chicago's jazz-influenced post-rock scene, plenty of DC hardcore grit and a large helping of the brooding, angled melancholy that would later float Pitchfork darlings the Wrens on a tide of critical acclaim.