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Little King – Occam’s Foil Award winner

Little King
Occam’s Foil
by Kevin Lewis at 11 June 2020, 7:44 AM

LITTLE KING is a band from El Paso, Texas. Formed in 1996 by Ryan Rosoff, this band has gone through line-up changes and an extended hiatus, but is still alive and well right now. Having put out four full length LPs and two EPs in 24 years, this latest offering, “Occam’s Foil”, is an entertaining five song piece that shows off a savvy awareness of the current state of affairs and has some fun showing off their musical and vocal prowess. This band defies genre typing. No two songs really fit the same mold. There’s a heavier rock song, one with Caribbean influences, an instrumental, a mid-tempo rocker, and one with a really nice string arrangement. This is a bold mixture that works well together, despite the obvious disparity. “Occam’s Foil”, is a bold piece of work put out in 2019 via Mad Bell Records.

“Hate Counter” is the first song on the record and definitely politically charged. Starting with the lines, “I can see your hate/You wear it well, so well/You built your big, beautiful wall/And threw those kids in a cell/Un-American Hell”, this song takes direct aim at the controversy around the immigration policies that were seen in full effect near many border towns, including El Paso, Texas. This is the hardest edged song on the album. The opening riff and underlying rhythm have the heaviest feel on this disc.

The second track, “The Skin That I’m In”, has a mild intro with a nice transition to a mid-tempo rocker. It sounds like a song about coming to terms with being okay after a break up, while also being a little glad the former significant other traded down. There’s a little vindication in that. The string arrangement and the galloping section in the middle of the song make this a very interesting song that holds the attention from the start to the finish. This is a complex song that really holds up.

“Forgotten Mile” is cool little mellow tune with a nice little rock section about halfway through. It’s a shorter song (2:26), radio friendly in length and feel. With lyrics hinting at being lost in life, it’s a song most can identify with. “The Foil”, on the other hand, has a reggae vibe with a nice layer of strings in to compliment the tune. This is the song that shows more of the bass guitar proficiency as they run to the ending in blissful harmony. The CD wraps up with a fun, funky little instrumental, “Nerve #8” (is that their last nerve?) that finishes everything up with flourish and flair. This is very good record with something for everyone.

Songwriting:  9
Musicianship:  9
Memorability:  9
Production:  9

4 Star Rating

1. Hate Counter
2. The Skin That I’m In
3. Forgotten Mile
4. The Foil
5. Nerve #8
Ryan Rosoff – Guitar/Vocals
Manny Tejeda – Bass/Vocals
Eddie Garcia – Drums/Percussion

Guest Musicians:

Monica Gutierrez – Vocals
David Hamilton – Cello
Christina Hernandez – Violin
Record Label: Independent


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