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Though you can trace their hard and hooky songs to institutions like the Pretenders, Cheap Trick and the Ramones, Philly's Beretta76 sounds totally unconcerned with what's cool, what's hip, or what will get bespectacled bloggers all atwitter. Having kicked around locally for a few years, the band is still anchored in South Philadelphia while other indie rockers have hightailed it to the northern neighborhoods. The brand-new Black Beauty sounds like what you'd hear blasting from a suspicious van idling outside Goretti. Only fitting, since the cover - a pulp erotica image of a python wrapped around a scantily clad damsel - looks like something that would be airbrushed on such a van. Black Beauty is an amped-up affair where singer Camille Escobedo's talons-drawn tenor pierces the pop-minded skin of guitarist Pete Rydberg's carefully constructed tunes. It's a winning mix of blood and sugar.

-- Patrick Berkery, Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia Inquirer

Have a listen to “Hit Parade” from Philadelphia’s own Beretta76 off their self-titled debut Black Beauty and wait for the glorious waves of harmony in the chorus and tell me that it doesn’t bring a smile to your face! “Hit Parade” is just one of a number of incredible, sexy and full-bore crunchy rock and roll songs that will have you replaying this CD time and time again. I only got this sucker last Friday and already I have played it about 20 times as well as featuring “Hit Parade” on Rock and Roll Report Radio.

Whether you like a bit of punk attitude, hard rock sneer or power-pop shine, Black Beauty has it all in spades and I highly recommend you check it out ASAP. Tell’em The Rock and Roll Report sent ya. A great summer CD for those days when the sun is glaring, the beer is cold and the beach is hot. Works for me!

Have a listen to some tracks at their MySpace page at and hear for yourself. - Mark Boudreau

There really is nothing better on this dumb planet than a rock n' roll band with a strutting frontfox who can peel off sleazy guitar riffs while belting out cheap come-ons and biting put-downs in a Joan Jett drawl. Beretta76 have exactly that in Camillie Escobedo. Beretta76 totally rock. 7 out of 10. --Sleazegrinder - Classic Rock UK

December 10th, 2006

Dan DeLuca's Top 5 Local CDs of 2006

Beretta76 Black Beauty (self-released)

Camille Escobedo's Joan Jett snarl rides atop a bracing Cheap Trick guitar crunch from an amped-up garage band that's ready for bigger things.

- Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia Inquirer

Chicks with balls are sexy. No, I’m not into tranny-porn – I’m thinking more along the lines of AC/DC’s “She’s Got Balls.” And it’s just that type of straight-up, no-B.S. Rock’N’Roll that Beretta76 blast out of my stereo speakers. The Runaways and Joan Jett are obvious comparisons, but they work, so I’m stickin’ with ‘em. Four-four downbeat rhythms propel the bar-chord riffage and lead guitar licks, all of which are topped off by a tough-chick vocal snarl that is both seductive and dangerous. Once in a while, the band veers off into Suzi Quatro Pop Rock territory, giving the CD a nice balance to the fist-pounding rockers that define the Beretta76 sound. If you’re looking for a solid, no-frills Rock’N’Roll album to keep you company, Black Beauty has what you desire. --Jack Rabid - The Big Takeover

Beretta 76
Black Beauty

Once you hear the way Camille Escobedo screams "Oh, yeah!" on Black Beauty's opening title track, you know this is going to be good. The 10 bracing, catchy tracks on this Philadelphia band's self-released debut pack plenty of power-chord crunch, and the quartet doesn't let its skepticism about "The Hit Parade" talk it out of constructing song after song full of catchy hooks. Escobedo has got her Joan Jett-Suzi Quatro snarl down cold, and Black Beauty teems with the unpretentious energy of a not-too-polished garage band ready to take on the world. (

--Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer
- Philadelphia Inquirer

Black Beauty

Jack: I like the drummer. And the singer's got a presence. Pretty stuff.

Walt: Pretty good hard rock with a female singer who does a good job with the material. Sometimes poppy, sometimes '70s rock, sometimes more modern, with lots of hooks all around.

Gerry: This reminded me of a cross between The Runaways and The Go Go's. Good rock 'n' roll, but with a little punky edge. The singer definitely reminded me of Joan Jett. Very polished sound.

Bridget: Clean power pop.

Holmstrom: Nothing earth-shattering but a good punk band with a good girl singer. They can sing well - some great harmonies on this record, and that's not as easy as it looks. - PUNK Magazine

Veterans of Philly's music scene who have become accustomed to Beretta76's live doses of addictive rock & roll that sticks in your head days after the show have had high hopes for this record. Their debut 10 song album, Black Beauty, does not disappoint. This slick little package is bursting at the seams with hook-laden, guitar-driven rock/pop treats. Each one would be a hit single in a fair world. Who said production means sacrifice when it comes to attitude and rawness? Certainly not producer/guitarist Pete Rydberg, who captured the essence of singer Camille Escobedo's alternating sultry purr and sexy snarl. The bottom line here is great songwriting; infectious melodies, clever lyrics and catchy guitar hooks carry the day and make this album a real beauty. --Brian Zee
- Carbon 14 Magazine

Black Beauty

Generally lumped in with the neo-garage scene, Philadelphia's Beretta76 actually casts a far wider appeal. Remember rock music, people? Remember loud guitars and big hooks? Remember the days when radio programmers played music not because it catered to a fashion-driven youth market demographic, but rather because it was good? Remember when radio programmers actually got to pick the songs they played, instead of being forced to rotate the 25 crap songs mandated by corporate playlist czars? I know, I know: I'm ranting here. But that's only because Beretta76 reminds me of a time when the term "mainstream rock" wasn't completely synonymous with "dogshit". I'd wholeheartedly recommend this band to anyone who enjoyed album oriented rock radio in the '80s or modern rock radio in the mid-'90s.

Taking on everything from Joan Jett-ish commercial hard rock to candy-sweet radio pop to Magnapop/Veruca Salt mid-'90s alterna-crunch to high energy powerpop, Beretta76 is a band that cannot be easily pigeonholed. And lord knows we need more bands like that these days! It's a simple concept, really: bring together an amazing vocalist with some immensely talented musicians, write good songs (that don't all sound the same!), go into the studio, and make a great-sounding rock record suitable for the teeming masses. I've seen a lot of Cheap Trick comparisons in regards to this band, and I think there is a definite similarity (in spirit, at least). Singer Camille Escobedo sounds like a potential star to me. She can really belt it, and her voice carries a satisfying mix of sexiness, beauty, and tough-chick attitude. With equal aplomb, she delivers the goods on proto-metal stompers like "Hold You In Hell" and gorgeous pop songs like "Pretty Baby". The hit (no pun intended) is "Hit Parade" - a vitriolic, insanely catchy pop/punk blast that will delight fans of Visqueen (and if you're not a fan of Visqueen, what the hell's that matter with you?). You will not be able to get that chorus out of year head! I also love "Paper Doll" - a sultry, slow-burning epic that really shows off the power and soul in Escobedo's voice. If I had any criticism of the album, it would be that not enough songs allow Escobedo to let loose and really show off her pipes. I could do with less tracks like "Legs" (which could seriously pass for the latest Avril Lavigne or Ashlee Simpson single) & "The Runaway Son", and would prefer more all-out rockers like "Hostile City" & "Black Beauty". But overall I love the variety here, and I wish more rock n' roll bands would follow Beretta76's lead in that respect. And while such things as exceptional musicianship and million dollar production are often used to mask the inadequacies of painfully mediocre bands, here they merely enhance what still would have been a terrific batch of songs even if it had been recorded in the garage with two kazoos and a boombox. I only see Beretta76 getting better and better, and Black Beauty is one hell of a promising start!

---Lord Rutledge
January 4, 2007

- Now Wave Magazine

A.D. Amorosi

1. Tom Waits - Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards (Anti) [CP Top 21]
2. Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor (Atlantic)
3. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped (Geffen) [CP Top 21]
4. Beretta76 - Black Beauty (self-released)
5. Spank Rock - YoYoYoYoYo (Big Dada)
6. Man Man - Six Demon Bag (Ace Fu) [CP Top 21]
7. Ruth Naomi Floyd - Root to the Fruit (Contour)
8. Plastic Little - She's Mature (Tonearm)
9. Theo Bleckman - Las Vegas Rhapsody (Winter & Winter)
10. The Situation - The Situation (Elephant Stone) - City Paper


Beretta76 - self-titled EP, 2003
Beretta76 - Black Beauty, 2006



Beretta76 (note spelling - all one word, no space) just released their debut CD - the self-produced Black Beauty – after being together since 2002, having Jane Magazine choose one of their songs to appear on their 2002 Reader Produced CD, releasing an eponymous EP, and opening for acts such as Fountains of Wayne, The Fratellis, Cracker, Earl Greyhound, Shonen Knife, The Muffs, and The Fleshtones.

No Philadelphia quartet deals with whiskey nights and stark urbanity like they do. That attitude seeps through the pores of guitarist/composer Pete Rydberg, bassist Ben Brower, and drummer Rob Giglio, even when raging through Beretta76's thickest wordless passages. But throw in sex, beauty queens, one hour stands, attitude-y princesses, more sex, old rock scribes throwing dismal dinner parties, and even more sex (there's a woman wrapped in a cobra on the cover for a reason, hoss); make it blunt, unprissy, immediate, pissed off, melodic and raw-rocking without lacking in precision; toss in the punch of power pop and the cutting clarion foxiness of singer and guitarist Camille Escobedo... it's a brutal Beauty you got in your hands. It's a record that hones their acerbic agit-power-pop into something that's sleek, tender, taut and tough without ever embracing rock from a feminist aspect.

While most of Black Beauty’s sound is gi-hugic and riff heavy - capturing arena-style bigness compacted into a fist of fury – “Pretty Baby” is lilting and textured ear candy. They roll through the sunny but sneering Sex-Pistols-meets-The-Association p-p-punk of “Hit Parade.” That song, one of their first, is a catty beauty-queen-be-damned blueprint for Beretta76’s attitude and an approach that figures into the tattered princess pop of “Paper Doll”. That doesn’t last. Beretta76 take a hard slow ride on the Kinks-ish metal of “Hold You in Hell” - a song that, like “Legs,” finds itself pissed-off at one person in particular. “Just Another Trick” is Pete’s tune about playing the field, a power-pop reverie with an Amazing Gobstopper comparison to go with its cooing harmonies. “You never know how many layers of candy you have to get through to find that cyanide center, “ says Rydberg.

It’s Escobedo and Rydberg’s uneasy song writing mesh that makes Beretta76 truly bitchy. It doesn’t matter whether they’re sharing tales of hand-wrung romance or snide observations regarding tricks, tarts, and sharks. Beretta76 is about the moment – the one where someone leans into a power chord and personal data gets digested to make an explosion of riff and image. That’s the key to this quartet’s success.

Black Beauty is rough and raw without being sloppy.
Beretta76 is loosely compact and detail oriented.
At a time when the internets lets you click on-and-off within a second, you have to be. “More than ever, bands have one shot to make an impression,” says Rydberg of making each track white hot from the second it starts. Being honest about what and who they are just made Beretta76 hotter still.