Glorytellers Atone

Listening to the debut album by Karate in 1996 was like a pinhole view into a city block-sized universe where the twin tensions of post-hardcore and slow-core minimalism duked it out. Geoff Farina has proven much more durable than many of his peers from either of those scenes. Karate gradually mutated to fit his growth as both a lyricist and jazz-schooled guitarist. On 2005 solo outing Salt, Farina further stretched his free approach to the instrument and also began collaborating with drummer Luther Gray. Gray follows Farina back into the land of American song craft on this second Glorytellers effort, with a worldview that's now a sepia-toned vista. Atone has a very classic feel that marries fat-free instrumental leads to a storytelling song structure (think early Billy Joel via Blake Schwarzenbach) and a slightly bruised sentimentalism. It's a fine reward for those that have joined Farina for the long haul. (Southern)