Review ·

Karate, often name-checked as a seminal band in the formation of the East Coast indie-rock scene, was known for its somber, gentle guitar and Geoff Farina's laid-back vocals. When the members decided last year to call it quits after twelve years together, the loss was a major disappointment to many. What was most shocking, however, was the band's main reason for breaking up. After meeting with a specialist in hopes of amending the situation, Farina was forced to quit due to the impact that high stage volume was having on his hearing.

 

Already Told You, Farina's first post-Karate release, is a four-song EP that could be expected from the man who found jazzy, gentle indie-rock too loud. Composed of three new songs and one he wrote as a part of that other legendary Boston-based band, the Secret Stars (which is said to have directly influenced Ida's Daniel Littleton and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard), the record builds emotional peaks around simple arrangements of guitar and vocals.

 

Always a poet as much a songwriter, the stripped-down method of Already Told You emphasizes the depth of Farina's abilities. Delivering pristinely articulated statements through his trademark understated voice, Farina touches on universal themes of love and loss without ever seeming forced.

 

With a fifteen-minute EP that will probably sell very few copies, Geoff Farina has once again proven that his priorities are in the right place. Combining intelligent lyrics with simple, but not stale, chord arrangements, the four songs on Already Told You portray their maker as a genius without an ego.

 

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