Image © 1999
Barking Spider Records
Image © 2000
(01 October 2000) The debut album from rock-'n-roll band
Karmalatta is entitled From Me To You (Barking Spider Records (USA)
SOS0004, 1999). The Philadelphia-based band is fronted by Beth Arnold
(vocals, guitar, keyboards) and also includes Andy Burr (drums, percussion),
Greg Beltz (bass) and Brian McCreery (guitar, keyboards, vocals).
The album is comprised of fourteen rocking tracks. Recommended
to Musical Discoveries through links from the Second
Story website, further information on the band is available at their
website. Photos there demonstrate
the band must be awesome to see and hear perform in a live setting.
A certain highlight from the band's debut album is the melody
and lead vocal in the epic rocker "Understand?". We thought that the vocal
and instrumentals were perfectly balanced; we most enjoyed Beth's soaring
lead vocal part. "Three," "Jeans," and "Self Destructive" follow in a similar
vein. The band is equally comfortable performing in a pop style. Songs
include the upbeat "Twist of Fate," "Jeans" and slowly sung "Empty Town."
Classic rock tracks include "Catch 22," "But Anyway," "Sick" and the
punky "Shallow." The instrumental bridges clearly demonstrate the
band's virtuosity. Vocals shine right through the instrumentals track
after track with soft harmony layers adding texture.
We actually most enjoyed the slow track "Empty Town." A slow
rocker, almost-ballad, it features Beth's soaring lead vocal with soft harmonies
adding to the overall sound. Instrumentals perfectly support the melody
carried by the vocalist, sounding here most like Karen Bergquist from Over The
Rhine (review). A high spot before the song
concludes illustrates the extent of Beth's range.
You can find further reviews and order From Me To You from
here. Beth Arnold's contribution to Karmalatta's sound is certainly worthy
of further exploration. Worth checking out, we found the band's debut album a
very nice listen!