Caesars – Paper Tigers

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist

The honest truth is that I bought this album because I heard “Jerk It Out” on the iPod commercial, and I am okay with that. I have no emotional connection to this band and never bothered to follow their career. Their history is somewhat complicated, as it turns out. Hailing from Sweden, they were originally called Caesar’s Palace, which is understandably problematic. In the rest of Scandinavia, however, they are known as Twelve Caesars, for no reason I can determine. They have stuck “Jerk It Out” on three separate album releases, which seems to betray a weird lack of confidence in their other material.

What I Think of This Album

This is a solid slab of ‘60s-inspired Scandinavian garagey rock, complete with Farfisa and other period-appropriate keyboard sounds, and of course the accent-inflected English is charming.

The obvious hit is “Jerk It Out,” here in remixed form (unfortunately?) with a killer breakbeat, an organ riff that Clint Boon (the Inspiral Carpets) should probably sue over, an infectious melody, and a lot of unusual noises keeping things lively in the background. If nothing else is as good, several songs come close. “It’s Not the Fall That Hurts” gets by on chunky riffing and jokey lyrics, as well as a nice syncopated cowbell snuck into the energetic rhythm track. Lead song “Spirit” is a big, moody anthem, quite unlike anything else on the disc, and clearly seems designed to be played at a stadium show.

There is a lot to like in downcast “Out There,” including more fine drumming, chorused vocals, some nice chording, and an irresistible melody. “May the Rain” boasts some fun backing vocals and more of that inspired organ. The yearning “My Heart Is Breaking Down” is bouncy and bright, with an effective vocal and a nice distorted guitar lead, as well as a generous bass part.

“Soulchaser” is also excellent, with a tremoloed rhythm part that won’t quit and a fine organ melody, as well as a spiky guitar line, and a great drumbeat. Dramatic “Good and Gone” is an appropriate closer – the tumbling drums are the best part. “Paper Tigers” is a decent tune, neatly arranged. Nine pretty good songs out of thirteen is a ratio I’ll take (and the rest aren’t bad, either).

The Best Thing About This Album

I would love to wave my lighter (aka cellphone) in the cold Swedish night to a live version of “Spirit.”

Release Date

April, 2005

The Cover Art

Messy and boring, and not really warranting any further thought.

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