Long before the coronavirus inflicted the need for remote collaboration on everyone, Valerie Green and Paige Shedletsky were already accustomed to creating music together across state lines. Best friends and frequent collaborators since the mid-aughts, Green, who is based in Indianapolis, and Shedletsky, who lives in Louisville, share an instinctive songwriting process that borders on the telepathic — they just don’t need to be in the same room to know what the other is thinking.
"Concrete Beach" is the debut album from their newest band, Karate, Guns & Tanning, and represents the culmination of that 15-year period of cowriting and creative exploration. Combining high-energy post-punk, shoegaze, and dream-pop, Karate, Guns & Tanning take their musical cues from creative explosions like the Riot Grrrl movement, artistic grotesques, and the mad ravings of Hunter S. Thompson.
Born out of restlessness and pent-up aggression, and further intensified by the ambient dread of the early months of the pandemic, the fierce energy of "Graffiti Children" provides a cathartic emotional reset from the doldrums of quarantine and self-isolation. This layered production is full of surprises, and pits a heavy bass-line and distorted guitar against an in-your-face drum sound, only to lull you into submission with the mellow and honeyed vocal tones of Valerie Green. Karate, Guns & Tanning is the unapologetic, post-punk, industrial sonic exorcism that you didn't know you needed.
"Concrete Beach" will be out March 21, 2021, with pre-orders ongoing via karategunsandtanning.com.