Band of The Month (Exclusive Performance): Hot Karate Adrenalize Psychedelia With ‘Bolillos’

I was driving at high speeds down a dark San Diego road when Hot Karate’s “Bolillos” first entered my world. Soaring through the radio frequency like a streak of Perry Farrell’s transcendent alien melodies laced with the psychedelic mysticism of The Mars Volta, the song was a supercharged gift from the universe on a beautifully cloudless California night. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. For every Zeppelinesque riff flirtation there was a trap door waiting to take the listener to another place entirely, which only grew more enchanting as the track progressed. And that voice…

“Baby, I can see it in your eyes,” the singer, frontman Cyrus Ghahremani, crooned. “You are just the same as I.” Realizing that I had accelerated considerably from an already breakneck speed, I downshifted and pulled over to play out the rest of the song. I was hooked. I needed to know who this was. 

The band, as I’d soon discover, is Los Angeles rock trio Hot Karate: Cyrus Ghahremani (bass, vocals), Rob Krauss (guitar) and Adam Subhas (drums), friends making music for themselves, to alchemize their sound on their own terms. Specializing in hypnotic rock with rabbit-hole shifts in time and tempo, the group takes the best strengths of prog’s finest and channels it through a visceral passion that seems never more than a breath away from exploding. Their latest album Finger Food is their third release in just three years, a continuing evolution following 2011’s self-titled LP and 2010’s Moonlight Horchata. Driven by passion that grabs you by the soul, Hot Karate wrap their hook strength in a technical prowess that doesn’t drown us in Yes/Rush-isms while making our heads spin with kaleidoscopic variation. It’s progressive without the math-rock nerdgasms and testosterone baths of prog’s past, and melodically captivating in ways that carve a new groove in the mind of attentive listeners.

We’re thrilled to bring Hot Karate into focus as CraveOnline’s Band of The Month for February, kicking off the run with “Bolillos,” the song that first brought the band to our attention. Fans of White Denim should pay special attention towards the end, where the band tags in “At Night in Dreams”… 

Pick up Hot Karate’s music right here, and keep up with the band on Facebook, Twitter and their official site. Check back next Thursday for the next Hot Karate session performance, exclusively on CraveOnline!


Very special thanks to Swing House studios!