The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

LITTLE CAESAR

AMERICAN DREAM

2012

 

 

 

1 Holy Roller
2 American Dream
3 Hard Rock Hell
4 Prisoner Of Love
5 In My Mirror
6 Only A Memory Away
7 The Girl’s Rockin’
8 Is Your Crazy, Getting’ Lazy?
9 Own Worst Enemy
10 Drama Queen
11 Dirty Water

 

 

A new Little Caesar album is always a welcome addition to the year’s rock releases and after such a great return with 2009’s ‘Redemption’ it’s great to see the guys back again.

 

 

Little Caesar always managed to deliver something more than their contemporaries back in the day, it always seemed to be more about the music than a band attempting to fit in with the style of the times. What we got was blues and soul-laden hard rock with a real passion that sounded authentic rather than staged. The band sounds just as good today with singer Ron Young hitting the notes he did twenty odd years ago with seeming ease, and maybe just a little more honey in his voice. 

 

 

Opening with ‘Holy Roller’ its like stepping back in time. You realise that unlike so many others one the comeback trail Little Caesar seem to have lost nothing over time, if anything they’re tighter. That trademark driving blues-based rock that set them apart back in the day has lost nothing over the years. It sounded great then and sounds just as good today. ‘American Dream’ the title track is a case in point that sends you spilling back over the years, simple, driving and immediate: and all class.

 

 

If you liked Little Caesar’s return to the arena – 2009’s ‘Redemption’ then you are in for a treat as if anything ‘American Dream’ is even better. Even the more throwaway numbers like ‘Hard Rock Hell’ are elevated past Little Caesar-by-numbers by some sparking performances.

 

 

It’s hard to play favourites on a album like this but if I have to pick out a few then ‘Prisoner of Love’ stands up tallest. It has a groove that most bands would kill for and is completely sold by Ron’s powerful, soulful vocal. I’ve heard a lot of songs this year and ‘Prisoner’ is among the very best of them.

 

 

‘Own Worst Enemy’ and the ballad ‘Only a Memory Away’ also stand out for all the right reasons: I’m convinced that Ron could sing the names of the contents on the back of a cereal packet and elicit an emotional response, but ‘Only’ is right up there with the best slower songs Little Caesar has recorded.  ‘Own Worst Enemy’ is that other kind of song that Little Caesar do so well, upbeat, and full of light but underscored with a bass and guitar sound that seem to have the patina of years of great music imprinted on the notes they produce.

 

 

‘Is Your Crazy Getting Lazy’ is one of the best songs here though strangely reminiscent of one of the best off ‘Redemption’ – ‘Your Love is Killing Me’ – very nice indeed.  

 

 

This is music that is a million years away from anything synthetic or mass-produced, it sounds and smells like something lovingly crafted without a care for anything but the art and the authenticity. It’s music that should resonate with anyone who rails against autotune and American Idol, and relishes the warm sound of vinyl. It’s music for people that still see music as more than a product to download, music for people who care.   

 

 

It’s great to know that people out there are still making music like this, just the way it should be.

 

 

Mark Diggins