Karate (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

OriginBoston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Years active
  • 1993–2005
  • 2022–present
MembersGeoff Farina
Eamonn Vitt
Gavin McCarthy
Jeff Goddard

Karate is an American band, formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1993 by Geoff Farina, Eamonn Vitt and Gavin McCarthy, with Jeff Goddard joining in 1995. The band split up in 2005 before reuniting in 2022.

The band is characterized by fusion of indie rock, emo, post-hardcore, post-rock and jazz, with the jazz influence becoming more dominant in later releases.[1] In particular, Farina has cited Minutemen, Beefeater, and McCoy Tyner as major influences on their sound.[2]


In 1993, Karate was formed by Geoff Farina (vocals, guitar), Eamonn Vitt (bass) and Gavin McCarthy (drums). In 1995, Jeff Goddard joined the band as bass player, and Vitt moved to second guitar. Previously in 1998, after moving to Chicago, Goddard had formed the band Jones Very, with Vic Bondi and Jamie Van Bramer.[3][4]

Vitt departed Karate to pursue a medical career in 1997.[5]

Their music was primarily released on Southern Records.[when?][6]


Farina developed hearing problems due to twelve years of performance with Karate and was forced to disband the group in July 2005. Disbanding with fanfare the group had recorded six studio albums and had almost seven hundred performances in twenty countries.[7] Their final show was played in Rome, Italy, on July 10, 2005.[citation needed]


In 2007, the former band members released the live album 595.[citation needed] It is a recording of the band's 595th performance, on May 5 at Stuk, Leuven, Belgium. The recording was sent to them by a sound technician, and Karate were so astonished by the quality they decided to release it as an official live album.[8]

Karate's perfectionism and attention to detail is well known among the music scene, which played a part in the naming of 595.[citation needed] It was originally to be called 594. However, McCarthy discovered a flyer for a forgotten early show, so the band quickly changed the title to 595.

In 2005, Goddard played bass on the Chris Brokaw album Incredible Love.[9]

Farina has developed a solo career, releasing three albums and a number of EPs.[10][11] He has worked with Chris Brokaw, releasing work as Geoff Farina & Chris Brokaw.[12]

McCarthy has been part of a number of bands including E, which released albums in 2016 and 2018.[13][14]

In 2021, the Numero Group digitally reissued the band's first two albums and first single.[15]

In 2022, Stereogum reported that the band would reunite for their first tour in 17 years.[16] It was announced in November that the band would play Primavera Sound festival in 2023.[17]

On September 15, 2023, the Numero Group released Complete Studio Recordings, compiling their six studio albums, the Cancel/Sing and In The Fish Tank EPs, singles, and split 7"s. The 69 tracks were split across eight CDs. The box set included an 80-page book by Leor Galil containing essays and photographs.


Studio albums[edit]

  • Karate LP/CD (1995, Southern Records 18534)
  • In Place of Real Insight LP/CD (1997, Southern Records 18543)
  • The Bed is in the Ocean LP/CD (1998, Southern Records 18554)
  • Unsolved CD/2×LP (October 2000/March 2001, Southern Records 18584)
  • Some Boots LP/CD (October 2002, Southern Records 18599)
  • Pockets CD/LP (August 2004, Southern Records 28114)

Live albums[edit]

  • 595 CD/2×LP (October 2007, Southern Records)


  • Time Expired CD/LP (October 2022, Numero Group)
  • Complete Studio Recordings CD (September 2023, Numero Group)

EPs and 7-inch records[edit]


  1. ^ "Karate | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  2. ^ Strano Podcast (November 19, 2020). "Strano podcast [Ep.49] - Geoff Farina (Karate, Exit Verse, Glorytellers)". YouTube. Retrieved August 29, 2023.
  3. ^ "Jeff Goddard". Discogs. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  4. ^ "~~jeff goddard~~bio~~". March 21, 2013. Archived from the original on March 21, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  5. ^ Fiander, Matthew. "Karate: Five-Ninety-Five < PopMatters". Popmatters.com. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  6. ^ "SOUTHERN | karate". February 28, 2005. Archived from the original on February 28, 2005. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  7. ^ mark powell. "karate > biography". Southern. Archived from the original on March 7, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  8. ^ "Album Reviews: Karate: 595". Pitchfork. January 9, 2008. Retrieved June 23, 2010.
  9. ^ "~~jeff goddard~~discography~~". March 21, 2013. Archived from the original on March 21, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  10. ^ "Geoff Farina Discography". AllMusic. May 2021.
  11. ^ "Hammer and Spade, by Geoff Farina". Geoff Farina. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  12. ^ "The Boarder's Door, by Chris Brokaw & Geoff Farina". Chris Brokaw & Geoff Farina. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  13. ^ "E | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  14. ^ "Home | BUSINESS NAME". gavinmccarthy. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  15. ^ "In Place Of Real Insight, by Karate". Karate. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  16. ^ "Karate Announce 2022 Tour, by Chris Deville". Stereogum. March 2022. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  17. ^ "Primavera Sound 2023 Lineup Has Blur, Kendrick Lamar, Rosalía, & More". Stereogum. November 29, 2022. Retrieved December 4, 2022.

External links[edit]