The Caesars – Paper Tigers (CD)

The Caesars are known unfortunately because of their song “Jerk It Out”, which is annoying to say the least. What is more indicative of their music is a track like the one they opened up “Paper Tigers” with; namely, “It’s Not The Fall That Hurts”. The straight-forward rock sound of that track, with a twinge of eighties dusky electronics, really makes a play for an entirely new genre of music. Similarly, the more-forward rock track “It’s Not The Fall That Hurts” cannot be farther from the “Jerk It Out” snippet that has been played to oblivion by the Ipod leader that be. The band’s decision to include this years-old track on this album is much more a bane than a boon on this disc, as this inclusion really breaks a synergy that the disc has throughout – until one gets to that song.

Each track on “Paper Tigers” has a minor amount of dance influence, but it is truly the band’s solid songwriting that allows listeners to glom onto them the most. “Out There” is a timeless rock track, and the track’s Spartan sound really allows the band to make the most out of the least possible instruments (the track lacks any heavy distortion or even anything more than the bass/guitar/drums that are essential. “May The Rain” actually has The Caesars look into the Doors school of music, using a very present synthesizer and very audible bass to make another strong track that actually will reach different listeners than those pandered to with the majority of other tracks on this disc. As each track on “Paper Tigers” rolls on, the fact that the band formed a decade ago really begins to show itself.

These are more than pop-rock tracks, these are striving to be the form of perfection, as the very coy and catchy track “My Heart Is Breaking Down” shows, whether it be through the simplistic and heartstring-pulling guitar solo or the metronome-perfect arrangements on the track. There are no weak tracks on this disc, and I honestly believe that The Caesars, rather than The Mars Volta or Interpol should be the bears of pure rock in the new millennium. This band follows directly from the halcyon days of U2 and David Bowie, and keeps the tracks fresh by infusing them with differing elements that mark them specifically as a band in this date and time. Avoid “Frances The Mute” and pick up “Paper Tigers”.

Top Tracks: It’s Not The Fall That Hurts, My Heart Is Breaking Down

Rating: 7.4/10

The Caesars – Paper Tigers / 2005 Astralwerks / 13 Tracks / http://www.caesarsweb.com / http://www.astralwerks.com / Reviewed 24 May 2005

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