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LITTLE CAESAR Eight

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Sunday, April 1, 2018 @ 3:24 PM


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LITTLE CAESAR
Eight

Golden Robot Records




Look past all of those weathered Harley Davidson patches, denim vests, leather pants, bandannas and modest body ink and you’ll find from within the members of LA-based gritty street survivors LITTLE CAESAR, a band full of equal parts soul and rock. Given that their breakthrough song was a cover of Aretha Franklin’s Motown classic “Chain Of Fools” thanks to the hardened yet melodic vocals of frontman Ron Young, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that LITTLE CAESAR have maintained a steady balance of straight-ahead gritty rock and mellow-sounding groovy soul off and on throughout their 30+ year career. Continuing with that same tradition would be their eighth album titled, um, Eight, which is their first album in six years as well as their first album for their new label Golden Robot.

Opening with the fast rockin’ track “21 Again” with its ode to youthful enthusiasm and stubbornness, Eight captures both LITTLE CAESAR’s versatile musical influences as well as its earnest and honest lyrical commentary. And like a well-tuned 1690 cc engine on a rebuilt Harley, LITTLE CAESAR are all about going the distance on the rest of this album, which they do so with ease. Tracks such as “Crushed Velvet”, “Mama Tried”, “Vegas” and “Good Times” are classic LC, with Young’s ragged street swagger and the dual guitar work of Loren Molinare and recently-acquired Mark Tremalgia (BANG TANGO, CHAMBERS BROTHERS, BROTHERS JOHNSON) epitomizing the band’s sound. Elsewhere, the lead-off single “Time Enough For That” is a slowed-down mellow affair brimming with optimism and reminding us all to “hold on to the good things that we have right now” and captures the soulful aura of Young’s vocals. As well, “That’s Alright” could pass as the quintessential SCREAMING TREES number that time had forgotten, with Young’s vocals mirroring Mark Lanegan’s in parts.

Compiling the sum of parts, Eight is the type of album that doesn’t so much try to reinvent the wheel but keeps it spinning down a path that it’s charted for itself. And it’s happy to take anyone along for the ride whoever’s up for it.

5.0 Out Of 5.0

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