Jonny Barrett (guitar/vocals), Melvin Smith (guitar/backing vocals), Stevie Benton (bass) and Will Chi (drums) make up Cashing In Karma. On their Bandcamp page they describe their music as alternative rock with elements of reggae, punk, pop, surf and classic rock. That's’ pretty much the type of music you hear on their release Jigsaw Road.
Cashing in Karma seems like they would be the type of band that put on a good show. The music is upbeat, lively and something you could kind of shake your hips to while drinking a beer. Take for instance the title track. I immediately enjoyed the whistling and reggae/rock vibe. The singer has two singing styles. On the verse he sounds somewhere between Bradley Nowell and Everlast and on the chorus he sounds much more natural.
I preferred the latter because in general I think the Bradley Nowell and Everlast singing/rap style almost always sounds forced like the singer is trying to be a badass. The chorus is great when he sings, “‘Cause life’s a jigsaw road / A puzzle no one knows / In time you’ll see where the pieces all go / So keep your head up high, / Don’t be afraid to try, / Just make it worth your time.”
“Imposter” has a bit of blues in there alongside some garage rock. Don’t miss some of the sweet snare rolls towards the end of the song. “Pieces” has a sublime vibe during the verse. The vocal are well delivered as Barrett sounds relaxed and natural.
“Dreams” has a different feel from the previous songs. It’s more melancholy, arguably more melodic and powerful in a nostalgic kind of way. The lyrics are reflective dancing about themes of destiny, death and regret. He sings, “Some spend most their lives never doubting what they do, Until the day they see what they have missed; and then it’s all that crowds their view.”
They follow up with “Good Enough” which is more a well-written but fairly predictable song. They close with a girth-y seven-minute plus song entitled “Finding Home.” It starts melodic, soft and warm. Eventually, the band hits their distortion pedals and go all in with an epic guitar solo.
Jigsaw Road isn’t perfect but contains a nice batch of songs that you don’t have to work too hard to appreciate.
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