St. Louis-based Karate Bikini may have just released it's debut full-length album, "Sauce of the Apple Horse," but this is hardly their first rodeo. Each has been a mainstay in the local music scene for many years.
Lead singer, songwriter and bassist Tim McAvin has played with Tight Pants Syndrome, the Heebie Jeebies and Lydia's Trumpet; guitarist John Horton is active with the Bottle Rockets and Magnolia Summer; guitarist Mike Martin plays with recently reformed post-punk outfit the Painkillers; keyboardist Rich Ives played with Lydia's Trumpet; drummer Danny Hommes was a member of Bellyfeel and Don't Tell Ginger; and sax and flute player Michelle Rae holds down the groove for John Hardy and the Public. And that list only hits the highlights.
Their music is tight and melodic -- indebted to the dB's and the Kinks -- but with a whimsical streak. Lyrics reference talking parrots, banana bread and getting drunk at the company picnic, in addition to the usual pop fodder about falling in love and overcoming adversity. Sonically, the songs are just as diverse, with technicolor melodies and lead lines bouncing from player to player around the room. While the band's pedigree is certainly notable, the songs speak loudly for themselves.
All photos by Chris Bay.