Cashing In Karma
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Cashing In Karma

Lakewood, WA | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Lakewood, WA
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Alternative




"Music Review: “Earthbound” – Cashing In Karma Dispenses High-Octane Alt-Rock"

Cashing In Karma recently dropped their sophomore EP, called Earthbound. Produced by Shad Woodman, the EP was recorded at Decade Sound Studios, and features Cashing In Karma’s unique sound, a blend of high-energy rock, jazz, blues and alt-rock, provocative lyrics and contagious melodies.

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, the band is made up of Jonny Barrett on vocals and guitar; Melvin Smith on lead guitar; Alex Thoburn on vocals and bass; and Will Chi sits in the pocket.

Earthbound comprises six tracks. “Slow Down” offers a bluesy alt rock melody vaguely reminiscent of Tommy Bolin because of its hint of jazz effluvium. Rumbling with a pulsing bassline, the potent rhythm carries a wallop. Smith deploys his dirty guitar with finesse, inserting austere licks with authority on the chorus. “On Our Skin” rides an alt rock melody flavored by just a suggestion of reggae filaments emanating from quasi-skanking guitars, giving the tune restless dynamism. I love the separation of the guitars and the tight pop of Chi’s snare.

“Repercussions” starts off with delicate guitar riffs leading to a smooth groove. Sparkling guitar accents imbue the melody with luminescent colors juxtaposed against the throbbing darker hues of the bass. The title track exudes a bluesy melody riding Smith’s gristly wah-wah fuzzing guitar, a texture that minces gloriously. As the music intensifies, the muddy guitars thrum with a wall of sonic energy.

The lyrics of “Earthbound” are declarative and evocative, pointing to the fetters supplied by the mundanities of existence.

“In the silence you can hear it all / The noise inside that beckons for you to make a call / And now it sings in harmonies… / So you get your pen and paper and you write up a plan / You keep your head up and do everything that you can / To stave it off / But it never stops.”

“Breaking Point” begins with aromas of fusion jazz-ridden guitars flowing seamlessly into a rocking melody moussed with jazz-laced muscular guitars. Tripartite harmonic lines – lead guitar, rhythm guitar and bass – intersect like a web of fine filaments yet at the same time remain divorced, providing residual sonic nuances. This is an excellent tune.

The last track on the EP is “The Raft,” a thrumming alt rock tune conveying surges of Jovian force, resting on a beguiling leitmotif structure arranged with precision. A deep stuttering bridge paves the way for a first-class guitar solo that avoids the cardinal sin of busyness.

Barrett’s expressive tenor shouldn’t be neglected, proffering a variety of tonal colors ranging from sweet and mellow to raw and eviscerating. His phrasing is exceptional, and there’s a diatonic inflection to his voice that makes it appealing.

Earthbound is remarkably good, chock-full of infectious melodies and hefty rhythms. The tunes suffuse horizontal and vertical textures, as well as delicious instrumental differentiation that sets the music apart from the run-of-the-mill alt rock. In short, it’s lit. And Cashing In Karma has it going on. - Randy Radic (Contributor for Huffington Post)

"Cashing In Karma - Jigsaw Road Review"

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. - Ted Rogan (Divide and Conquer)


Still working on that hot first release.



Cashing In Karma is an alternative-rock band from Lakewood, WA. The band's songs are melodic, dynamic and blend different genres together in interesting ways. Since the band started in 2015, Cashing In Karma has released two EPs: Jigsaw Road and Earthbound. Both have been well-received and helped grow the band's fan-base significantly. This has led Cashing In Karma to have many successful shows throughout 2016 and 2017. 

The band consists of members Jonny Barrett (Vocals, Bass), Melvin Smith (Guitar) and Will Chi (drums). All of whom grew up in Lakewood, WA and became friends through their shared passion for music. Since then, they have been working hard towards one goal; to have a career and make a living through music. The band focuses on writing the best songs they can with meaningful lyrics and raw emotion while also dedicating themselves to giving an energetic and memorable performance.

In January of 2018, Karma started the new year by playing two festivals and currently they are working on recording new songs and material for their next release. 

Band Members