Best Rock Band - 2010
The name Karate Bikini screams retro band — a beach-blanket-bingo scene, say, or a cult B-movie horror flick. Unsurprisingly, that's the vibe created by the quintet on its four-song debut, A Demonstration. The EP recalls the chewy psych-jangle of the Dream Syndicate or Robyn Hitchcock and the drawn-out fuzzpop of Yo La Tengo, in between moments of harmony-stacked power pop and white-hot glam. The mix of influences and strong songwriting makes sense when you consider Karate Bikini's pedigree; the lineup features vocalist/guitarist Tim McAvin (Tight Pants Syndrome), guitarist John Horton (Bottle Rockets, Magnolia Summer), drummer Jill Aboussie (Red Eyed Driver), bassist Joe Scanlon (TPS) and saxophonist Michelle Rae (Jon Hardy & the Public). The musicians bring years of diverse experience to the band, no doubt the reason the Karate Bikini live experience emerged fully formed — and nearly perfect.