Hotbands Reviews

The Whole Bolivian Army - Seattle, WAThe Whole Bolivian Army - Amnesty (Gargantuan Records)
By Stacy Emerson of the Tacoma Reporter
*Published in the Tacoma Reporter on November 18th, 1999 - reprinted with permission

GREAT BIG WONDERFUL things do come in small packages - proves front woman Mary Beth Kite of The Whole Bolivian Army (TWBA). Unlike the soft, girly-like vocals saturating the airwaves these days, Mary Beth delivers something beyond an extraordinary ability, she delivers passion. Through flawless belting one minute, to sensual, velvet crooning the next, she's prime to get the attention of those who could help land the band a contract.

Backing Mary Beth on vocals is guitarist, and husband Matt Kite, whose warm voice is the perfect compliment to hers. The bottom-end work of bassist Jay Perry and cadence of drummer Dave Warburton complete this tactical, non-military unit. All four members have their hands in the writing process, and though stretched thin by juggling fulltime jobs, they make time to nurture their music and label by performing many shows. Their first appearance in Tacoma Proper will be at the Swiss on Thursday December 9th when they open for First Time Tomorrow (FXT formerly known as Face*First). Other shows in December are; Outa Bounz in Lynnwood on the 11th, at KCMU Live Room on the 18th and a second show that same night at Rupert's, in Pioneer Square.

TWBA has been playing since 1993, when Mary Beth and Matt teamed with former TWBA bassist Steve Miller (no, not THE Steve Miller). After releasing their first full-length album (self titled), they hit the club circuit and landed opening slots for Harvey Danger, Goodness, Laura Love and the Canadian success band, April Wine. During that time, TWBA released Spinner ('98), which received heavy airplay through college radio, and their song Necrodancing was selected for one of the CMJ Certain Damage compilation volumes. In October '99, Amnesty was released and extremely well received by the fans and industry folks who attended their Release Party at Seattle's Broadway Performance Hall.

With plans for a heavy radio push in Jan. 2000, the airwaves will be delivering a treat in the form of TWBA's Indie Rock/Pop/?, which is "sort of genre free", says Matt. "We're not grunge, swing, ska, electronica--whatever. We're The Whole Bolivian Army!" They don't listen to radio much, therefor aren't in danger of trending with the flavor of the month - and that's a good thing, 'cause what they've got is some of the best music I've heard in a loooong time.

For more information on TWBA, visit them online by visiting thier website at

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