By Carietta White
Leeds-based Carietta White's debut record offers an interesting example of a band who have undoubted talent, but are perhaps not playing to their strengths. The powerful, confident opening of the title track immediately demonstrates that they are extremely comfortable with their chosen brand of axe-wielding rock, but the dark and atmospheric guitar work produced by Tim Gomersall is somewhat undermined by his vocal performance which is, to be frank, too weedy for the genre. Things improve with slow, contemplative number My Paradise Lost, on which Gomersall concentrates on producing some intricate guitar solos and leaves the vocals to fellow guitarist Jamie Robinson. However, the undoubted highlight of the demo is Hazy Daze, in which Carietta White shrug off some of the maudlin intricacies that hamper the early tracks. A chilled-out tribute to days spent not doing not very much, the song is based around a simple structure that is both catchy and upbeat, and also much more suited to Gomersall's fragile vocals. Final track Violet sees a return to the darker sound, but is revelatory in its employment of drummer Kit Hudson on singing duties. Blessed with a vocal range and resonance much more suited to the metal genre, his performance emphasises that the way is open for Carietta White to continue to develop and improve along those lines. However, it is also clear that the band have the potential to achieve a greater level of success by moving in a quite different direction altogether. By keeping a tight rein on an understandable keenness to demonstrate their musical ability, and instead adopting the dictum of "less is more", Carietta White could carve themselves a reputation as songwriters of some merit.