Recommended If You Like: The Animals, The Monkees, Kings of Leon, The Black Keys
Rock n’ roll is often described as a timeless art – something that speaks to people, generation after generation – but what does that statement mean? How can something be timeless if it’s been hailed as “dead” and then “revived” more times than anyone can count? Can something so obviously mortal really be timeless?
Songs, they come and go; some stick around. Artists, they come and go; some stick around. Ideas, they last forever. What makes the “rock” genre so special is that it is defined not merely by its sound, but by the representative ideas behind those sounds. Youth; Volume; Energy; these core drivers are ubiquitous elements of the human experience, exhibited by every generation not because of outside influence, but because they are innate to human nature. Rock music doesn’t need radio support or chart-topping hits to stay alive; as long as humanity continues to make music, there will be rock music.
Sporting a sound that is as true to 1965 as it is to today, Brooklyn trio Del Caesar and their new EP 2 channel rock’s core principles, embodying youth and energy with a raw passion.
Listen: EP 2 – Del Caesar
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Del Caesar’s EP 2, out November 11, 2016 via Reheated Spaghetti (pre-order available here). The four-song offering comes right on the heels of the band’s debut EP, EP 1, which was only released this May. This month’s release finds Aaron Lloyd Barr, Erik Arikian, and Ben Reynolds continuing down the path they embarked on earlier this year, honing in on their sound with catchy hooks and creative guitar riffs that bleed the truest principles of rock n’ roll.
Del Caesar’s ‘sound’ is at once organic and very conscious: Guided by his experience in professional illustration and visual art, Barr approached Del Caesar with a blueprint in mind. “I basically gave us a ‘brief’ much like a creative director might give an illustrator,” says Barr. “So, day one, we know what we were trying to do, what it meant to be Del Caesar and what wasn’t quite right. It’s been the most freeing thing, and we’ve been able to be super creative because we know what box we’re working within.”
On paper, such definition seems restrictive, but as is evidenced by the band’s two EPs, defining themselves from the start has allowed Del Caesar to flourish. EP 2 is raucous and alive, loose and cool but controlled, as is perfectly introduced on opener “Like They Always Say.”
I woke up in a cold sweat
right just down to the bone
I took one look outside
and see the cops right on the lawn
I can see them coming, coming, coming
Tried to remember
What happened last night
Jangling guitars grow from muted whispers into full-throttle attacks as Del Caesar build tension and pressure in the verse. The chorus – a melodic series of la‘s – could be humorous, but instead it’s filled with power and release. The purity of those nothing syllables captures another piece of Del Caesar: To be “snarling in a way that betrays some swagger, but never hostility.” Rock music can come from several different energies and emotions, but Del Caesar’s is specifically not angry; they’re here to pack a punch, and have a good time. “Think it through, so that you don’t overthink it.”
Del Caesar’s EP 2 is aggressive in all the right ways, ‘rough around the edges’ in its fresh garage-meets-psych rock mentality. Evoking everyone from Youth and Young Manhood-era Kings of Leon to The Animals, Del Caesar’s sound is not so much a throwback as it is a societal constant, a quality that makes EP 2 all the more enjoyable, catchy, and – dare I say it? – timeless. Listen closely to each song: There is immense talent in every sweeping riff, drum pattern, and bass groove. Del Caesar is not a band you want to miss. Shout your lungs out to EP 2 via Atwood Magazine’s exclusive stream, and look for it on your favorite music platforms this Friday, 11/11/2016!
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cover photo: Del Caesar © Dean Keim 2016