LITTLE CAESAR – American Dream (2012)
LITTLE CAESAR released a Bob Rock-produced, self-titled debut through the Geffen Records subsidiary DGC in May 1990. The was a different breed in the hair metal movement fusing a driving hard rock with bluesy and soul elements.
Little Caesar always represented ‘substance over style’, which probably led to their commercial failure (and null label support) in the hair-spray fog of the late ’80s.
An endless stream of middle-aged musicians have returned in the last few years with dreams of recapturing the magic that they once (or never did) possessed, but few have managed to do it as well as Little Caesar.
Of course few bands have a vocalist with the talent of Ron Young, whose bluesy and soulful voice always set this band at the top of the hard rock heap.
After the good comeback with 2009’s ‘Redemption’, with their brand new CD “American Dream” Little Caesar sounds as if time has stood still over all these years.
The only things missing from the current version of Little Caesar are original guitarist Apache and the long flowing hair. The sound is practically identical to what they sounded like ages ago.
They were never the heaviest band in town, and they still aren’t. What they are, and always have been, is a bluesy hard rock band that writes quality songs.
The album kicks off with “Holly Roller”, indeed a rolling rocker full of swagger, valvular amp guitars and feel-good vibe.
From there we get taken through a course of Classic (hard) Rock songs, short, catchy and effective, as the title track “American Dream”, which is driven by a simple but contagious American-trademark riff.
“Hard Rock Hell” is great hard rocker featuring very a classy vocaliztion by Ron Young, a fun chorus and a direct-to-amp hot six-tring solo. You just can’t love this tune. It reminds me the super-group Manic Eden (featuring James Christian, Adrian Vandenberg, Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge) who, incidentally, Ron Young went on to sing for.
“Prisoner Of Love” offers a more bluesy rock in a midtempo form. The main melody is strong and intense, builded over a tight instrumentation.
“In My Mirror” keeps things going with a steady and groovy guitar riff throughout before Ron Young shows how a ballad should be properly handled with “Only A Memory Away”, a song that has, again, a Manic Eden feel to it. Fantastic tune.
“Own Worst Enemy” is another good twinkling classic rocker, followed by the sweaty “Drama Queen”, before ending the disc with the catchy, southern tingled “Dirty Water”.
Little Caesar have always managed to set themselves apart from the crowd, and continue to do it today.
Since the previous album the band decided to release their music on their own, apart from the pressures and influence of record companies.
It is no longer about fame and fortune for the members of Little Caesar, it is simply about releasing quality music to the fans of the classy, eternal Classic Rock.
In times when most mainstream music is poluted with crappy sounds, we should be thanking Little Caesar for the release of an album like this, and every other musician that once had teased-hair and tight pants should use “American Dream” as the blueprint for how a band should stage their comeback to the new millenium.
01 – Holly Roller
02 – American Dream
03 – Hard Rock Hell
04 – Prisoner Of Love
05 – In My Mirror
06 – Only A Memory Away
07 – The Girl’s Rockin’
08 – Is Your Crazy, Gettin’ Lazy
09 – Own Worst Enemy
10 – Drama Queen
11 – Dirty Water
Ron Young: Vocals
Loren Molinare: Guitar
Joey Brasler: Guitar
Fidel Paniagua, Bass, Vocals
Tom Morris: Drums
BUY IT !