Proving their sound is anything but little, the three-piece rock band Little King channels the influences of three different states and to create a thrilling final product in the five-song EP Occam’s Foil. Brash and bold, Occam’s Foil gives the listener a smattering of rock, Spanish influences and even some classically- sounding moments. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Ryan Rosoff, bassist/backing vocalist Manny Tejada and drummer/percussionist Eddie Garcia, the trio hail from El Paso, San Jose and Seattle.
The five songs on Occam’s Foil are “Hate Counter”, “The Skin That I’m in”, “Forgotten Mile” , “The Foil” and “Nerve #8”. All five are incredibly different and the main thread of continuity is the evident rhythm section. Rosoff’s vocal range is instinctual as the song’s move along and it’s exciting to hear his variances.
Lyrically the songs that grabbed my attention the most are “Hate Counter” and “The Skin That I’m In”. Rosoff and Tejada join forces on “Hate Counter” and it’s the heaviest rock sounding track. Garcia’s percussion is just as punishing. They sing “I see your hate! You wear it well, so well, so well, you build the cages and the walls…all-American hell”. I can surmise that they are referring to President Trump and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). Who can get past those horrendous images of children in cages; families fleeing violence only to be held physically captive. “Hate Counter” is the only track that teeters into current affairs, while “The Skin That I’m In” focuses more on internal strife (not that the United States isn’t going through its own internal struggles, c’mon).
“The Skin That I’m In” feels like three songs in one. It starts out slow, with an acoustic guitar building a lovely, very melodic statement. The guitar speeds up into an almost feverish Flamenco/ Spanish influence state; at the bridge of the song are violin strings. Rosoff sings about the “walls are thin, closing in” and his voice matches the mood and the melodic tone of the song. This song struck me as a standout because it was so relatable. I wanted to be in that journey with this three. They got the feeling of insecurity and put to music the idea of not feeling confident or adequate. It could also have the double-meaning of social media. While we feel so ‘connected’ with ‘friends’ we also feel isolated. We feel stressed at the amount of messages hammering at us, and news feeds that demand our attention.
The final three tracks are great stuff, I just dug the first two the most lyrically. “Forgotten Mile” really showcases yet another side of Rosoff’s vocal range. I really enjoyed his voice in this gem. “The Foil” is a fun track – very funky. And, “Nerve #8” is a stunning instrumental.
Occam’s Foil from Little King is lots of big hits. While the two standout songs for me are “Hate Counter” and “The Skin That I’m In” – it’s not to say the other three tracks aren’t worthy of plenty of listens. They are in a big way.