LITTLE CAESAR - Eight
March 28, 2018, a year ago
Guess where the album title came from? It's the eighth release (including initial EP and 2015 live album) from the reactivated so-Cal outfit named for the Edward G. Robinson movie (not the pizza chain). Band was lumped into the Eighties hair band craze (mainly due to A&R guru John Kalodner and producer Bob Rock's participation), despite looking like greasy mechanics. About as far afield from the glam of the Sunset Strip, although “Tastes Good To Me”, off the Name Your Poison EP was a wry nursery rhyme ode to cunnilingus! While best known for a soulful repertoire, always preferred the few songs where Little Caesar picked up the pace. To that end, the opening duo of “21 Again” and the revved up cover of Merle Haggard's countrified “Mama Tried” get the party started. Pick of the litter is quick hitting “Vegas”. Think a more upbeat “Cajun Panther”. Can see the 'Too Stupid For New York, Too Ugly For Hollywood” tagline adorning the back for tour shirts!
The honky-tonk piano and female backing singers of “Another Fine Mess” is the bastard love child of The Rolling Stones and late ‘80s contemporaries like The Black Crowes and The Quireboys. Speaking of Mick & Keif, the mellow, slide guitar “Morning” could reside besides “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses”, on Sticky Fingers. Similar in scope to “Crush Velvet”, another slide workout from Loren Molinare. Would not have issued the ballad “Time Enough For That” as first single, so atypical of its surroundings. Disc ends with “That's Alright”, the lively emotional equivalent of the opener. Thoroughly enjoyable (from a rock perspective) that hasn't always been the case with Little Caesar records, which like the pizza chain, never fully satiated, wanting something more. Nice job guys!