Forget Cassettes

Salt

by Michael Keefe

9 August 2006

 

Unhinged, but in control. Guitarist, songwriter, and frontwoman Beth Cameron sings from the edge, nearly teetering over, and then snapping back. She’s an alt-Mary Margaret O’Hara, capable of barking out an unbalanced warble-shriek one second and then switching into cool command of her pointed aggressions the next, playing the roles of both the wild-eyed defendant pleading insanity and the calculating prosecuting attorney. She scores her courtroom dramas with PJ Harvey’s early ‘90s quiet/loud dynamics and raw aesthetics, utilizing the full power of her three-piece band, which is rounded out by Jay Leo Phillips (more guitar, some bass and organ) and drummer Aaron Ford. Cameron’s lyrics can pierce their target’s heart, but just as often feel labored, like college poetry. Still, when using her considerable (and seemingly largely instinctual) vocal talents to lacerate past lovers or an ineffective government, Beth Cameron and her able teammates in Forget Cassettes kick up a convincing storm on Salt.

Salt

Rating:

 

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