I don’t remember what year I first saw Karate High School. It was a show at The Beat Kitchen in Chicago. It was the year after Tub Ring released The Great Filter and they were headlining the show with KHS and Foxy Shazam as openers. When KHS took the stage, there was just something about them. They looked like people I knew; just a bunch of nerds who wanted to play punk songs about video games and other nerd things. There was a brutality present in their delivery as the lead singer would scream into the mic but there was heart when he’d belt out catchy choruses that everyone around me knew the words to by heart.
I wanted to know these lyrics, too. What made the set all the more impressive is that the lead singer’s leg was in a medical boot and he hobbled about on a crutch most of the time and I think he was probably slightly woozy on pain meds but he put in his all.
I could never find another band like KHS; anything that was even in the same genre never measured up in my eyes. They released just three albums to their name and *poof* were gone. The affect they had me still remains, like the greasy residue that stains the fight stick of an arcade cabinet in a smoky game zone.
You can listen to all three albums (Arcade Rock, League of Tomorrow, Invaders) presently on YouTube.