The men of Johnny Knows Karate (due at the Larimer Lounge on Monday, November 20) cite the calculatedly offensive Hate Fuck Trio as an influence (perhaps it's the Evergreen connection). But rather than going even further to establish their local punk cred by, say, covering a hilariously disturbing Frantix song, Johnny Knows Karate comes off more like a post-emo Dead Milkmen, playing acoustic, piano-inflected ditties that sound pretty and non-threatening. Underneath, however, lies a distinct punk sensibility that is edgier in terms of exorcising personal demons than anything Chris Carrabba could dream up. The members of Johnny clearly have some issues and have endured more than a couple of bad relationships. But instead of staying up late scribbling reams of bad poetry in their journals and listening to Pornography on loop until the neighbors threaten murder, they apply some ironic distance, allowing themselves to crack a smile at the absurdity of it all.
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