Little Caesar have been around since 1987. They’ve been up, down on their knees, broke up, reformed and changed line up, before taking a couple of years to come out with ‘8’ their latest studio album. This has been time well spent, and is a good solid rock album that the band are currently touring the UK promoting. Classed as a hard rock outfit, these guys can play melodic modern blues with a bit of a southern feel to it.
Kicking off with ‘21 Again’ it sets a bench mark as the opening song for the album, which could easily be an opener for a live show to get the crowd bouncing. Great riffs, and deep ‘Lemmy’ style gravel gargling vocals draws comparisons to the obvious Motorhead with a touch of ZZ Top.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to tag Little Caesar to anyone else’s sound, as next up comes ‘Mama Tried’ which has its roots in country, yet is all prison blues, about a young boy gone off the rails. So, if you don’t want to end in jail, where do you go? ‘Vegas’ of course, because “you’re too stupid for New York, too ugly for Hollywood”. One of the best tongue in cheek lines I’ve heard in a while, and oh so true. More powerful riffs than a night in a curry house, and some slick guitar solos thrown in for good measure.
‘Crushed Velvet’ slows the beat down slightly, but the rhythm keeps pounding along with some smooth harmonies and a sprinkling of what almost sounds like a slide guitar to pull this tune in a southerly direction.
Although the latest tour is mainly small to medium sized venues, Little Caesar are quite capable of firing out an arena anthem or two, and ‘Good Times’ is exactly the kind of thing this band will surely be heading for. In fact it’s hard to believe they have actually been around for thirty years, and only due to a bit of bad luck perhaps, they haven’t quite hit that next level.
No good rock album would be complete without a ballad, and of course ‘Time Enough For That’ delivers a thought provoking, live for the moment, enjoy it while you can reminder that life is too damn short. But before we get all melancholy ‘Straight Shooter’ slides its sleazy dirty guitar into your ears. Put the kids out the room for this one, this is rated PG for Please God don’t stop!
Thankfully there’s nothing Laurel and Hardy about ‘Another Fine Mess’, as the band stretch their repertoire by throwing in some funky keyboards to push the blues back in your face, which really suits that fine growling vocals of Ron Young. ‘Morning’ allows us to clear our palate with some crisp guitar licks and a beautiful clear, clean solo which is all about quality not quantity. Each note gently fades away as the vocals rise like the sun to fill the room with sound instead of light.
The album starts to mellow slightly as we reach the end with final track ‘That’s Alright’, only to be brought back to life in the middle with a guitar solo that wouldn’t be out of place at the starting grid of a F1 racetrack. But all is not lost, there’s more! A couple of bonus tracks starting with a heavy bass and a bluesy ZZ top style ‘Mixed Signs’ and kerb crawling ‘Slow Ride’ perfect for driving with the top down on a sunny day, and played loud to annoy the neighbours.
Little Caesar have spent their time off well, laying down this album. Fans of ZZ Top, Bob Seger, modern blues and southern rock should be battling their way through the snow this week to catch them live. Hopefully they’ll be back in the summer for a few festivals, or maybe a reappearance at Hard Rock Hell.
Time Enough for That
Another Fine Mess
Mixed signs (bonus track)
Slow Ride (bonus track)
Little Caesar are:
Ron Young – Vocals
Pharaoh Barrett - -Bass, Vocals
Mark Tremalgia – Guitar, Vocals
Loren Molinare – Guitar, Vocals
Tom Morris - Drums
Pre-order link for Eight: http://smarturl.it/Get-LittleCaesar--8