Little King is a band with a backstory that astounds many, and confounds a few. It was 25 years ago, that Ryan Rosoff decided it was time to branch out on his own from his prior band, and find his inner royalty. Since that time, Little King has gone through multiple iterations, and even a few retirements, only to return with a renewed vigor, each time. This time is no different, as Rosoff and the band have resurfaced with the signature album, Amuse De Q. Little King’s highly original style of Rock music is infused with progressive, metal, and experimental elements.
Knowing Little King’s history is to appreciate the band and their music, just a little bit extra. Rosoff handles most of the guitar and vocal duties on Amuse De Q, with the exception of “How Could You,” which features Jessica Flores on Lead Vocals. That piece explores the discomforting, but very real subject of domestic violence. Amuse De Q came to be in 2020, and the topic of spousal and other forms of domestic abuse, was an especially prevalent one , during that time. To hear the song being delivered by a female narrator in such a vivid and implicit manner is a jarring experience, to say the least.
“Bombs Away” is the album opener and it lives up to its title. This one seems to be about the day to day drudgery and sometimes, hallucinatory aspects of quarantine. The band sounds incredibly alive on this one, and it features some rather innovative jazz breakdowns. Rosoff flexes his skills as a guitarist with a shredding solo around the bridge. This was the right choice to open the record with, as the band gives you all they have.
“Melpomene” is a curiously placed instrumental track, that’s positioned a little past the halfway point. Curious, because its energy is certainly diametric to the rest of the album, but at the same time it makes complete sense on an album that is already so variegated. This track is simply 83 seconds of gentle guitar playing, accommodated by a beautiful and sweeping violin section. It reinforces the range that Little King possesses, and it feels like a designated moment of zen. “Melpomene,” adds an extra layer of depth to an already artistically nutritious record.
There’s so much to be said for and about Little King and Amuse De Q. This band should be on everyone’s radar, yesterday. Their story is as compelling as their music, and their leader is somewhat of an iconoclast. Amuse De Q supersedes any genre restrictions, and is a creative triumph for a band that is nearing mythical status. When all is said and done, Ryan Rosoff and his castle will have left a sterling legacy.