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Karate High School - Invaders Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 6
Musicianship 7.5
Lyrics 7
Production 7
Creativity 7.75
Lasting Value 6.75
Reviewer Tilt 6.5
Final Verdict: 69%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.75
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 8
Production 8
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 7.5
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Average: 81%
Inside AP.net

Karate High School - Invaders

Reviewed by: MusicTalks (05/27/09)
Karate High School - Invaders
Release Date: May 19th, 2009
Record Label: Eyeball Records

Let's face it: we have pop music and long, long ago, we had punk music. Sometime in between, these two musical genres found each other in a dark and whimsical alley where they fornicated like rabbits, creating a million bastard children that we now call pop-punk. Some of the offspring make their parents proud, while the rest of the offspring have their parents not showing up for Back-to-School night. Karate High School takes after the more paternal nature of pop-punk, with tribute to The Ramones and even Green Day - something that would warrant a good report card, but with one, big asterisk.

With their third release, Invaders, they attempt to make a record that people will listen to and like, with no hidden agendas or innuendos to ponder over. The bio on their MySpace claims nothing more than that they are a band who wrote some songs and put out a record. But how is it? Well, between tracks one and eleven, I found myself liking it and hating it. The real downer would be that I couldn't get behind Paul McGuire's vocals. I found myself caught between enjoying the tone and then, in other parts, literally covering my ears, looking perplexed. McGuire's vocals, at least on this record and in this setting, are shaky. Softer inflections and longer, more gentle notes come across as weak and shrieky. Parts where he belts out the lyrics are where he should concentrate because that's where I found the most enjoyment. Even songs from earlier releases sounded a lot more solid than the vocals on this record.

What I did like was that this is the first band in a great while where I feel like they could make a genuinely authentic punk record. Songs like "One Trip Around The Sun" and "If You Don't Live Here, Don't Surf Here" are tracks that give this record the edge it needs to keep you listening. The instruments and song structures are unique and different, allowing you to distinguish one track from another, which is more than I can say for several other bands that I've listened to lately (see previous reviews). The gold medal track on the album, though, would have to be "Punk Rock Uniform." The lyrics are witty and nostalgic with lines like "You might think it's ironic and a little bit wrong, to sing about punk in a pop-punk song." With definite single potential and a ton of accessibility, I found this track to be the gem of an album that I felt had a ton of potential, a ton of promise, but in the end failed to deliver to my musical taste.

For me, I'd have to attribute my lack of enjoyment, not to the structure the band possesses or the delivery of their music, but rather my original complaint: Paul McGuire's voice. It overshadowed the geniune enthusiasm I had for the album when I found the band on MySpace. With work on the negative and an album more towards his power vocals, I think that Invaders would have been a record that I could have listened to all summer long. But, in the end, it's a record that gives me some musical enjoyment, but also leaves a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

Recommended if You LikeThe Ramones, Green Day, a nostalgic dose of punk with a side of pop, Ralph Macchio, sweeping the leg, skeeball


www.myspace.com/karatehighschool
 
Displaying posts 1 - 11 of 11.
10:40 PM on 06/04/09
#2
superBMRuth
sheeeeeeeeeeeeeit
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I think his voice is a plus simply because it's distinguishable from the thousands of other pop-punk singers still trying to sound like Patrick Strump or Mike Herrera. It's energetic and endearing, much like the music these guys consistently put out.Great review nonetheless.
08:42 AM on 06/06/09
#3
denissuxx
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The last line is harsh.
09:01 AM on 06/06/09
#4
DI Pistola
tune in Tokyo
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I disagree with your remarks on his voice. Did you stick around to the end of the record for "Dear You It's Me"?
I don't know about you, but I've heard a lot this year, and this particular vocal performance really sticks out to me. He sings with a lot more earnesty ("You're Not Fooling Anyone..." as well) than any other pop punk vocalist I can vouch for right now.
09:18 AM on 06/06/09
#5
Heroin Robot
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his vocals are defeinitely not the weakest
09:42 AM on 06/06/09
#6
BlackpoolLights
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70% is extremely generous for this crap.
11:10 AM on 06/06/09
#7
Broclee
Dude, this is so Inception.
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I liked the album. Your review was okay, but you got a bit overly harsh there at the end. I mean, giving it a pretty good score, and only having one real issue with the record, which is vocal delivery in some spots, I thought you had enjoyed the record, but then you essentially say you'll never listen to it again, as if it's garbage.
09:18 AM on 06/08/09
#8
MusicTalks
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I liked the album. Your review was okay, but you got a bit overly harsh there at the end. I mean, giving it a pretty good score, and only having one real issue with the record, which is vocal delivery in some spots, I thought you had enjoyed the record, but then you essentially say you'll never listen to it again, as if it's garbage.

I disagree with your remarks on his voice. Did you stick around to the end of the record for "Dear You It's Me"?
I don't know about you, but I've heard a lot this year, and this particular vocal performance really sticks out to me. He sings with a lot more earnesty ("You're Not Fooling Anyone..." as well) than any other pop punk vocalist I can vouch for right now.

I think his voice is a plus simply because it's distinguishable from the thousands of other pop-punk singers still trying to sound like Patrick Strump or Mike Herrera. It's energetic and endearing, much like the music these guys consistently put out.Great review nonetheless.

For me, the biggest draw on an album are beats, hooks and vocals. Sure, everyone wants these things, but for me, an album just isn't an album without these things. I am more of a pop music fan, and my musical taste definitely leans that way. For me, his vocals were just not good enough. I listened to this album over and over, so I heard every lyric and every note, but the places where they were good were significantly outweighed by the parts where it was completely shaky. Now, sure, his voice is different and it stands out, but for me, it stands out in a negative way. As I said, there were parts where I enjoyed it AND I didn't mean to give the impression that I liked it, but I'll never listen to it. An amended review was sent to AP, but it wasn't posted, so I'll have to just edit this one. In the end tho, I definitely lean more towards pop/punk and this album had questionable vocals and more of a punk sound. "Punk Rock Uniform" was amazingly catchy and I did enjoy that one immensely. I can see why people would enjoy this record, but it wasn't for me. Take a look at my reviews and you'll see why.
10:27 AM on 06/09/09
#9
MusicTalks
@JasDunham
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On a side note: Someone look at Dropout Year's album art for The Way We Play (one of my reviews) and look at Karate High School's AP.net profile. What is up with the skeeball machines?
01:29 PM on 06/16/09
HometownHero
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I really enjoy this record
07:27 PM on 04/14/13
ahriik
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I enjoyed this album, although not as much as KHS's previous releases. It almost felt as if KHS was trying to appeal to a wider audience by simplifying lyrics and such, and making a more "poppy" sound. It also lacked some of the harder tracks I grew to like from their previous releases.
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