Audio Karate Space Camp

Audio Karate plays tightly wound pop punk, somewhat akin to the hyper-melodic sounds of Lagwagon and Chapel Hill's Small. Much to their credit, the band includes enough variety on their full-length debut to make their songs stand apart from countless groups of similar ilk. Occasional stuttered rhythms, volume level transformations, minor dissonance and engaging vocal melodies distinguish an album that could otherwise become a blur of swift tempos. The cornerstone of Space Camp is "Nintendo 93," a tenaciously melodic song that features an odd analogy between archaic video games and relationship break-up pangs, while "Monster in Disguise" slows the pace down and reinforces the band's ability to construct skilful arrangements. Throughout Space Camp, Audio Karate demonstrates a stable ability to compose tuneful, quick-paced songs. (Kung Fu)