Devastating Karate
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Devastating Karate

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Tucson native Nick Ratliff fronts Devastating Karate, a Venice, Calif.-based trio that, on their self-titled 2005 album (self-released), recall the riff-heavy rock--and sense of humor--of Spinal Tap and the Supersuckers, but with a heaping dose of roots-rockabilly tossed on top. They'll be sandwiched between the Little Morts and Los Hangovers at Vaudeville Cabaret, 110 E. Congress St., on Sunday, May 21. The show starts around 10 p.m., and you can call 622-3535 for more info. - Tucson Weekly

"Devastating Karate - Santa Monica Lawn Bowling Park"

This album makes you wish you had eardrums in every orifice, no, make that every pore of your skin, and with all these fucking eardrums you'd catch every single little chunk of noise from every direction, noise in your forehead, noise in your gut, noise in your kneecap, and on and on it would build and build and all the little eardrums would burst and puss would pour out of them and you'd be there with all this puss all over you and all over the ground and you'd bend down and start licking every drop you could find so that you could just feel that sweet delicious noise one more time. - Venice The Menace

"Devastating Karate"

"Desert Americana Boogie." - KXCI, Tucson

"Bang Sugar Bang, Devastating Karate, Left Hand Lucy, 15%"

The Limelight —Venice, Calif.,-based Devastating Karate plays what's being described as "thrash-country." On its "Devastating Karate" CD, the band twangs, growls and kicks out the rock jams while having some goofy fun with songs such as "Window Shade" and "Big Pants." Their border-crossing number "Culiacán" could become a theme song for some travelers. - San Antonio Express-News

"Devastating Karate Throws Down"

BOULDER, Colo. — Devastating Karate is ready to take a bite out of Boulder.

The Southern California band is primed to make its Boulder debut Wednesday at Conor O'Neill's -- and the group's promising to throw down a non-stop dance party.

The three-piece act has grabbed elements from bands as diverse as Kings of Leon, Ween, Devo, Willie Nelson and Black Sabbath to create its own don't-take-life-too-seriously brand of punk and rock music.

The band members sports names such as Rat, Chuck Foo and Zach Attack -- and that just adds to Devastating Karate's party power.

"We're from Venice Beach, Calif., and we started the band in 2005," singer/guitarist Nick "Rat" Ratliff said. "We have a lot of different elements in our music -- we're punk rock and we're twangy. We definitely mix up the genres.

"Devastating Karate also has this comedy element. Think Ween or Devo. Hey, we even perform a cover of Celine Dion's 'All By Myself.'"

The SoCal band just started to tour the western U.S., so the group's been hitting the road in a series of mini-tours.

"I still have a day job in advertising, but it's a blast going out to do these gigs," Ratliff said. "We're going to go back and work on another album as soon as we get back to California."

Devastating Karate's currently touring with its latest CD, Santa Monica Lawn Bowling Park. The band's live show includes the CD's title track and other offbeat tunes such as "Don't Spit It Out" and "Crab Man."

"The response has been pretty good to our music," Ratliff said. "We've been able to book some pretty decent gigs and people love our live show.

"We play a lot of places in LA, but we like to pick places that people don't usually play at. We've played the Viper Club, but we have more fun playing house parties and dive bars."

That said, Devastating Karate should love playing Boulder.

"We thrive on playing live shows," Ratliff said. "We like to change things every time and keep it loose. We love to interact with the crowd."

Wednesday's a big party night in Boulder and Devastating Karate is ready to rock this town.

The local scene is starting to shape up nicely, and it's cool that Conor O'Neill's booked an out-of-the-ordinary band for its Wednesday night party.

- Wendy Kale - Colorado Daily

"Karate Gives a Kick to Breck"

Who: Devastating Karate

When and where: Saturday at Salt Creek Saloon, Breckenridge and Jan. 30 at Jake's Dive Bar, Breckenridge

Where'd the name come from? It was a group decision at a 4th of July house party. Democracy usually rules in Devastating Karate.

Home base: Venice Beach, Calif.

Type of music: Devastating Karate consists of three friends with a common goal: deliver good-times and non-affected music to our friends and fans. We formed in the summer of 2005 and just released our fourth album, “The Awesome Depression.” The new album is less eclectic than our old stuff and can be summed up as honky-tonk good-times drinking music (available on iTunes and Our live show is a mix of originals and cover songs. Some of our favorite bands are the Stones, Willie Nelson, Kings of Leon, Ween, the Pixies and Skynyrd. They have all influenced us, along with countless other bands. Sometimes people say we sound a little like Social Distortion. That doesn't bug me at all.

If your music were a tangible item, what would it be, and why? We decided that Devastating Karate would be a tuxedo T-shirt because it can be formal, but it says that we're here to party too. That said, our music is a tangible item. It's a relic once commonly purchased and shared called a compact disc, or CD.

Why do people love ya? Why not?

What's the craziest thing you've done/weirdest experience? Every day used to be crazy and weird, but it all seems pretty normal these days ... One time we stole Mike Tyson's tiger.
- Summit Daily News

"Neon This Week"

See Devastating Karate for free

Everyone has a reason to drink these days, and the dudes in Devastating Karate are more than happy to supply the soundtrack to the kind of bender where you awaken the next day with a liver the size of a lunchbox and missing articles of clothing.

A tongue-in-cheek, honky-tonk tinged power trio that hoists a brew to everything from Hank Williams' earthy country to hormonal '80s hair metal, this bunch is almost as fun as that one Fourth of July where Uncle Kenny passed out on the neighbors' lawn. Just make sure there's plenty of Pepto-Bismol on hand for the morning after.

See Devastating Karate at 10 p.m. Thursday at the Double Down Saloon, 4640 Paradise Road. The show is free; call 791-5775.

- Las Vegas Review-Journal

"Devastating Karate return to Lone Pine for ‘super’ celebration"

Jim’s birthday will be celebrated this year with the performance by Devastating Karate at the Double L Bar in Lone Pine.

Jim, AKA the artist currently known as Jim Darling, is a Southern California resident who, a couple years ago, was passing through the Eastern Sierra on U.S. 395 when the charm and allure of Lone Pine overtook him.

As the story goes, Jim was so awed by the small, Western-town atmosphere that he was compelled to stop. Once there, he made his way to the Double L Bar, where, as anyone who’s ever been to Lone Pine knows, he was sure to run into some friendly folk and colorful characters.

A couple pints later, Jim decided Lone Pine was too good to keep a secret, so he decided to throw a party, a birthday party – his birthday party.

He enlisted the aid of almost 30 of his closest friends, including band members of Devastating Karate, a Venice Beach-based country-punk trio that’s been spreading its eclectic word across the West for three years.

Though Jim’s birthday does not coincide with the Lone Pine Film Festival, Jim and his friends stage their own costume crusade.
According to Double L Bar Owner Kent Ramlose, the first annual “Jim’s Birthday” bash threw Lone Pine for a loop when dozens of flatlanders showed up on Main Street dressed as caped crusaders.
That’s right, the theme of Jim’s Birthday party is of the choose-your-own-adventure sort. Dress up as a superhero, have a couple beers and save the day with Jim and his friends on Saturday, Feb. 7 as Devastating Karate supplies the soundtrack.

The band was formed in 2005 with front man and guitarist Nick “Rat” Ratliff, Zach Lewis on drums and Charles Pasarell on bass.
Devastating Karate is a self-described “honky-tonk, punk-rock” band made for drinking.
The group released its first self-titled album that same year, following it up with a Southwest tour in the spring of 2006.
The band’s sophomore effort in 2007 saw the release of “Santa Monica Lawn Bowling Park” and two West Coast tours, including regular performances in the Los Angeles area.

After the 2008 release of “The Gallery,” the band produced its first music video and hit the road for a series of tours and festivals throughout the Southwest.
It was around that time that Jim called the band, raving about the small Eastern Sierra town he found and his vision for a birthday blowout.

They’ll be playing the Double L fresh off a 10-day tour of Colorado and Las Vegas.

“Their music is fairly diverse, they write a lot of their own music,” said Double L owner Ramlose. “It’s rock & roll … sort of.”

That’s the best description of Devastating Karate’s music, even by the band’s own standards.
“It’s eclectic. It’s honky-tonk, sometimes it’s punk rock,” said front man Ratliff.

After Jim’s birthday party last year, the Double L Bar was so thrilled with the turn-out, the music and the atmosphere, they offered the band another gig in the early summer. Ramlose said he hopes for a repeat this year.

So, anyone who is interested in some good old fashioned live music, and wants to wish Jim a happy birthday, is invited to don a cape and head down to the Double L Bar in Lone Pine Saturday evening for a “super” good time.

- Mike Gervais - Inyo Register


Devastating Karate - LP (December 2005)
Santa Monica Lawn Bowling Park - EP (May 2007)
The Gallery - LP (July 2008)
The Awesome Depression - LP (Nov 2009)
Pajarito Plateau - EP (July 2011)

Available at, iTunes and various other outlets.

Padio spins in various markets, including KXLU - Los Angeles, KCRH - San Francisco, FM94/9 - San Diego, KDVS - Davis/Sacramento, KZSC and KUSP - Santa Cruz, KCSB - Santa Barbara, KCPR - San Luis Obispo, KSYM - San Antonio, KXCI - Tucson, WVUR - Chicago, KUNV - Las Vegas, KMVR - Las Cruces, WCHC – Worcester MA, KRVS – Lafayette LA, WWSU – Dayton OH, KSAU – Nacogdoches TX, WUMD – Providence/Newport RI, WVRU – Roanoke VA, WTTU – Cookeville TN, KDNK - Aspen, KSBV - Salida, KZYR - Vail, WNJR - Pittsburgh, KSMT - Breckenridge and CJSW - Calgary AB.



VENICE BEACH, CA - Devastating Karate’s fifth release, Pajarito Plateau, embarks on a roots-rock experiment dubbed “postmodern cowboy” (KZSC, Santa Cruz). The title track was recently featured on the MTV series “Caged” and the EP already receives radio airplay in many North American markets including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, San Antonio, Tucson, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Calgary AB. DK debuted the new material at the 2011 Sheideck Summer Music Fest, sharing modern folk stories from the shores of Venice Beach, to the high desert of rural New Mexico, back to the shackles of Tucson’s Pima County Courthouse.

Devastating Karate formed in the summer of 2005 and is fronted by guitarist Rat Ratliff, with Zach Lewis playing drums and Charles Pasarell on bass. Lead guitarist Chris Cohick joined the former trio in fall, 2010, and the band recently added Adam Preskill on sax and keys. Described as “honky-tonk, punk-rock drinking music” (KXLU, Los Angeles), Devastating Karate released a self-titled album in late 2005, followed by a Southwest tour in the spring of 2006. The 2007 release of their sophomore effort, Santa Monica Lawn Bowling Park (EP), was supported by two West Coast tours and regular performances in the Los Angeles area. After the 2008 release of The Gallery (LP), DK produced their first music video and hit the road for multiple tours and festivals throughout the Southwest. The band received their first Independent Music Award nomination for the concept album The Awesome Depression (LP), released in 2009.

Influenced by groups ranging from Wilco and Kings of Leon, to Devo, Ween and The Pixies, Devastating Karate’s “power, energy and sense of humor equip them with a timeless quality that will probably transcend trends and fads” (Terrance Lam, GM, Downtown Records). Compared to the Supersuckers, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and classified as “desert Americana boogie” by Duncan Hudson (Music Director, KXCI, Tucson), DK is “A tongue-in-cheek, honky-tonk tinged [former] power trio that hoists a brew to everything from Hank Williams' earthy country to hormonal '80s hair metal, this bunch is almost as fun as that one Fourth of July where Uncle Kenny passed out on the neighbors' lawn” (Jason Bracelin, Las Vegas Review-Journal).