Caesars - Strawberry Weed
Record Label: Astralwerks
Release Date: August 19, 2008
Upon first picking up the latest Caesars album, Strawberry Weed, it’s quite evident that this band isn’t falling into the latest trend of downbeat “emo” ballads. If you aren’t familiar with Caesars, prep yourself for some powerful 60’s rock influences mixed with some raw, edgy powerpop. Albums by The Kinks and other bands of that nature are sure to be found on these guys’ bedroom shelves.
Caesars are best known by most Americans for their single Jerk It Out that was heard on some of the early iPod shuffle commercials. Strawberry Weed is their sixth release (although not all were released worldwide). Unknown to most of us across the Atlantic Ocean, the band has been playing and writing for over 10 years. Caesars aren’t shooting to impress the high class, elite musicians; instead they’re packaging their party into a small jewel case and shipping it over to the states.
The first track, Fools Parade, exemplifies the pre-stated objective pretty thoroughly. With an abrasive drumbeat, raw vocals, and plenty of instrumental noise and distortion, this is a tune to get excited to. The only thing to watch out for is this sound could get a little repetitive to some listeners, which makes this album either a hit or miss right from the start.
The song title Boo Boo Goo Goo nearly kept me from even listening to the track, but as it would turn out, my second grade teacher (Ms. McCarthy) was right when she told me not to judge a book by its cover. Being a sucker for bouncy melodies and catchy guitar riffs, this tune was one of my favorites off the album. Crystal also carries on some of this Caesars-style powerpop. However, I was disappointed that Caesars waited until No Tomorrow (the ninth song on the album) to pull out a serious lead synth-organ riff. But when they finally did, it made for quite an appealing tune.
The album, as a whole, is a pleasure to listen to. However, as I mentioned before, the sound may get a little stale to some listeners. As another word of warning, the songs probably won’t be appealing to someone who’s looking for lyrics full of intense emotion and deep metaphors. With that said, I would be willing to bet that these Swedish gentlemen aren’t really targeting that demographic anyway.
Naturally, the album has seen significantly more success in Sweden. It doesn’t appear this album will hit any major American airwaves anytime soon, but since when did American radio play define success anyway? If nothing else, the album is a good one to crank in the car on the way to a Friday night party.