Friday, August 25, 2023

Unwound / Karate - Fantasma Split 7" - Red Vinyl


Numero (2023)

This 7" was originally available at the Primavera Sound Festival that took place in Barcelona.  Unwound and Karate both played on day three and were grouped as part of the third font size (out of four) on the poster.  As both of these songs are also available on albums by each band, I assume this was mainly released to be a take home trinket of the experience.  Lucky for record dorks like me, Numero put some extra copies up on their website, so I was able to keep my Unwound 7" collection up to date.

On the Unwound side we have "Look A Ghost," from their Leaves Turn Inside You album from 2001.  While the later era Unwound records are definitely not my favorite of their overall discography, this song does stand out as one of the best.  It's not quite as noisy as I usually want my Unwound songs to be, as they rely more on a clean (as in not distorted), but muddy guitar tone.  The playing is intricate though and it's not sleepy like some of the band's other later era songs. 

Karate is a band I never listened to.  I'm not entirely sure why as they aren't a band that I can point to and say "I don't like them because ______."  I just never listened to them and I think I always thought of them as a slow, kind of boring band.  Now that I've heard their contribution to this 7", "There Are Ghosts" from the 1998 album The Bed is in the Ocean, I'm not sure my assumption was incorrect.  It's not a bad song, it is pleasant enough, but it has that slow, smooth jazz sort of indie rock vibe that never did anything for me.  Maybe they have other songs that are a bit more dynamic and exciting, but this one is kind of just there.

If you didn't go to the festival and already like either band, I'm not sure this is an essential release as you probably already have the song.  But for that segment of people that need to hunt down things like this, you can get it at a reasonable price from the fine folks at Numero.

1 comment:

  1. honestly, later karate can be a bit boring if you're really not into that "jazzy indie" rock stuff.
    but listen to Cherry Coke and maybe the whole first album and I bet you'd dig them a lot more.
    When they first started they did a split with the Crownhate Ruin, so imagine that they're closer to a Jawbox to like a slower indie band that they become later in their career.
    Check out Cherry Coke and then maybe listen to the Self titled Karate, I bet you change your opinion.
    PS I ordered this from numero a while ago, I am waiting (and excited) to get it.