BRUTALLY HONEST LIVE FROM HOLLAND
Released on May 6, 2016 (Unison)
You got hand it to Los Angeles’ Little Caesar folks! Not only do they put out a warts n’ all 21 song double live album recorded in Holland but when I preorderd this bad boy on iTunes, the cost of the album was $4.99! Good on Little Caesar for keeping the price real low and it seems to me they just want people to hear their brand of street rock. A lot — and I mean a lot — of rock acts could take a page out of Little Caesar‘s playbook and charge a little less for music.
Ron Young (vocals) who has been the leader of the band since I first came across their Bob Rock produced debut back in 1990 still has that real cool rock rasp that cuts across real good live! Actually the whole band that night is on fire! Tom Morris (drums), Fidel Paniagua (bass), Loren Molinare (guitar) and Joey Malone (guitar) — these cats play like a runaway locomotive clipping at over 120 mph on or off the tracks! Take your pick!
Pretty awesome that this album is as Young says ‘live.’ I will and can tell you that the mix on this album is superb! The guitars especially sound deadly! One guitar on the left side. The other guitar on the right side with vocals, drums and bass in the center! crisp and clean my friends…. If you have read my stuff for a while now, in some of my other reviews, you will have read that I say you have to respect a band nowadays as they take their craft seriously when they’re performing live especially when you’re 25 plus years into it. Little Caesar are another one of the bands like Helix who are still doing what they’re doing but taking the gig and the music serious! Full kudos….
The setlist has a real good flow to it beginning with “Supersonic” smashing right into “Rock N Roll State Of Mind.” “Hard Times” is one of my favs from the debut! Driving verses, catchy chorus with Young singing ‘All They Want Is Cash’. The songs are real catchy and what’s neat is the bass guitar drives a lot of these tunes underneath the ripping guitars and smashing drums. “Down And Dirty” has an old school AC/DC vibe with the guitars leading the charge and I also need to mention how good the backing vocals are as well. Remember what I said earlier about taking your craft seriously!
The Little Caesar boys even toss in a little run of cover songs. Notably, “Chain Of Fools” is real cool on how the guitars drive the song during the verses only to lay off at the chorus with Young and the backing vocals taking over. Classic comes to mind… Also, the mash-up of “Every Picture Tells A Story”/”Happy” works as well. Little Caesar play these tunes like the originals but put there own spin of street rock on it.
It’s 2016 and Little Caesar are still at it and are currently on tour as I post this. What also must be noted is that Pharaoh Barret is now playing bass with Little Caesar. Barret played bass with The Four Horsemen back in the mid ’90s along with Young who was fronting the band as original singer Frank Starr was in coma (R.I.P.) due to a motorcycle accident. For those that are wondering, yup, I seen The Four Horsemen here when they levelled the Inntowner (bar) to a rubble here in Thunder Bay!
Anyhoo…. for some straight good ol’ fashioned street rock n’ rollin’, check out Little Caesar‘s Brutally Honest Live From Holland!
02. Rock ’N’ Roll State of Mind
03. Hard Times
04. Hard Rock Hell
05. Tastes Good To Me
06. Down ’N’ Dirty
07. I Wish It Would Rain
08. American Dream
09. Real Rock Drive
11. Prisoner Of Love
12. Wrong Side Of The Tracks
13. Crushed Velvet
14. Rum And Coke
15. Chain Of Fools
16. Every Picture Tells A Story/Happy
17. Dirty Water
18. Sick And Tired
19. Drive It Home
20. In Your Arms
21. Down To The Wire
Ron Young – lead vocals
Tom Morris – drums
Fidel Paniagua – bass
Loren Molinare – guitar
Joey Malone – guitar