All hail to the Little King – the mighty rockers whose new EP Occam’s Foil is a sharp fusion of Latin rock, grunge rock and good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll. Fearless guitar riffs and interesting twists and turns, music fans will dig in and get a bit sweaty in the five-track collection. Little King is Ryan Rosoff (guitar, vocals), Manny Tejeda (bass, backing vocals) and Eddie Garcia (drums, percussion). This power trio has it down.
What I appreciated most about the five tracks on Occam’s Foil is that they all have a distinctively different taste, different tones. In “Hate Counter” the sound is blistering. It’s just all-out rock right out of the gate. It’s sort of a Metallica vibe – and that guitar just keeps punishing “I see your hate! You wear it well, so well, so well, you build the cages and the walls…all-American hell” one has to wonder if the band is referencing the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This song just blends the percussion and impassioned singing into a tornado of sound. All the guys are singing and the vocals just push through the fray. The song certainly sets the tone for the record and kudos to the trio for putting this one in the first place setting.
The second track, “The Skin That I’m In” has a plump acoustic guitar introduction. The brightness of the guitar really sets the tone and the rhythm changes with the early-bridge. It’s a rushing guitar, like horses picking up steam. Completely unexpected and highly enjoyable are the violin strings about the middle of the song. The dramatic turns really caught me by surprise. This song had a much more Latin feel to it.
Coming in at track three is “Forgotten Mile”, a seemingly more pop rock tune. The electric guitar is bright and the tight percussion keeps time to the lyrics. “Forgotten mile made me lose my way, now I wander night and day,” Rosoff sings. He stretches his vocals more in this tune and brings it to an apex with the bass and drums just under the two-minute mark in the just under three-minute song. Again, that wall of sound is just a frenzy of rhythm.
Next up are “The Foil” (a groovy, funky, swankier track) and the final track, “Nerve #8”, an instrumental. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking – why would they end with an instrumental? This one really knocked my socks off and got me squared away into this bliss of strings, guitars, fluttering percussion and a whirlwind of tones. Who needs lyrics when a band like Little King lets the instruments do the singing. What it lakes in words, it makes up with meatier, interesting music bed.
To wrap it up (see what I did there?), Occam’s Foil is further proof that a trio can take on the best of rock music – and any genre- and create a grand sound like no other. Lend them your ears…it’s worth the leap and if you’re a fan of Alice In Chains, Blind Melon, The Mavericks and more – you’ll want to add these tracks to your musical library.
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