Amuse De Q is the newest offering from experimental rockers, Little King. This will be their 7th studio release, in a career that spans a quarter of a century in total. Though there road has been paved with its share of setbacks, the band has stayed true to itself and preserved their vision. Some of the band’s past efforts could be considered “concept albums,” but Amuse De Q explores a variety of personal struggles and social issues. It’s a diverse and highly original record, that will ask for more from you than most, but the payoff is arguably worth it.
Ryan Rosoff established Little King in 1996. He had been playing in another band up to that point, but had been writing his own songs, concurrently. Originally forming in El Paso, Ryan and Little King would eventually end up everywhere from Seattle to Delaware, which might help explain the eclectic nature of the band’s sound. Little King would be subject to periodical sabbaticals, as many bands are, due to shifting lineups and personal reasons on behalf of Rosoff. During those times, Rosoff would start other entertainment related businesses to support his growing family.
“Omega Son,” closes the album, and does so in epic fashion. This song feels like a journey in and of itself. You can hear several of Little King’s influences on this track, whether or not they are conscious influences. Vocally, you can hear something of an Iron Maiden vibe, at least in reach and texture. Compositionally, you can hear a bit of Rush, albeit with a heavier and more frantic twist. This one has tons of moving parts, and challenges you as a listener to keep up.
“Keyboard Soldier” is a song that has been begging to be written. Presumably, this one addresses those who use social media as a form of verbal battery. Rosoff’s character in the song challenges the keyboard soldier to step outside and into the real world to reiterate their statement, and hopes they come alone. Though there are some comedic elements to this one, it’s actually a very real issue that was nice to hear being addressed in such animated fashion. One can safely assume that there is some autobiographical element to this one, mostly due to the fervor with which Rosoff delivers it.
Amuse De Q is a true triumph for Little King. For a band to have spanned 25 years in the current state of the music industry, is nothing short of a milestone, or even a monumental achievement. The sheer power and energy of this record could convince you that it’s the band’s debut effort, and it would be entirely fathomable. For Ryan Rosoff to still be finding inspiration in his surrounding world, instead of growing cynical towards it, is inspiring to say the least. He could have been a man who became embittered and pessimistic due to the various pitfalls and hidden obstacles of a career in music, but instead, he has cultivated his kingdom.
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