September 3 [16:00 EDT] -- Electronica newcomers Arkarna join the chorus of British artists attempting to duplicate the transatlantic success of peers like Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers.
They are armed with the requisite flaming hot dance track "House On Fire," and their debut Fresh Meat features ripe, dark variations of that song, looking to disarm audiences with the contrast of singer Ollie Jacobs' twangy voice and jagged dance beats.
The guys in Arkarna are studio rats who fell in together. Singer Ollie Jacobs has worked as an engineer and producer at his dad's Rollover Studios since age 14. Guitarists James Barnett and Lalo Crème were working as studio guitarists when they joined Jacobs to form the band. Barnett was a member of guitar/techno bands The Sandals and Lunarci, while Lalo Crème, who deserves props for his name alone, gigged in clubs throughout his native Los Angeles with Johnny Depp and Tom Jones, among others.
The knock against
Arkarna is that they're young pretty boys (all 22) getting over on music industry connections. Lalo's famous dad, Lol Crème, co-founder of 10cc, helped Lalo get work with veteran producer, Trevor Horn. Jacobs benefited from his dad's relationships with groups like Leftfield, Dreadzone, and Deep Forest. Yet girls reportedly go bananas at Arkarna shows. With Fresh Meat's single-oriented tunes, the heat generated by "House on Fire" will surely put the lads to the test.