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Track: Rock It

Little Red
Track: Rock It

1 Track, Track (2010, Liberation)
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Little Red made their name with such a close reading of rock, pop, and soul tunes from 1950s and ’60s America that it was almost alarming to find out the songs were originals. With multiple lead singers leaning in for close harmonies and everyone partaking in a squeaky-clean retro image, Little Red seemed like a novelty when opening for Wolf & Cub or Ground Components and doing a Tote residency back in 2007. Then triple j got a hold of the Melbourne band’s debut album, Listen To Little Red, and the kids went wild for it. The requisite summer festivals and overexposure ensued.

Now the five-piece steps back into the spotlight – looking older and not so clean-cut – with new single ‘Rock It’ from a forthcoming album. It’s an interesting song in that it keeps the essential ingredients of Little Red – the stripped-back arrangements, the emphasis on the rhythm section, the forever-teen vocal presence – but underplays, if not excising altogether, the band’s previous sock-hop sound. Leading with a strutting bass line that could open a Spoon song, ‘Rock It’ feels more like a slinky ’80s cut than anything else. If not for the absence of a killer hook, you could compare it to some lost Hall & Oates demo. There are even a few synth squiggles tucked in there.

The lyrics are broad and easy, twanging that well-worn theme of wanting a night of youthful abandon to last forever. And yet the chorus (first couplet: “Rock it till the break of day/Don’t stop rocking now no way”) is imparted with the urgency of a shrug. That’s not a complaint: Little Red is clearly going for something mellow here. And with Scott Horscroft (The Temper Trap, The Presets, Silverchair) in the producer’s chair, there’s no scratchy glow of vintage vinyl here but an inoffensive blank backdrop.

The song’s a bit of fluff, harmless and easy on the ears. There’s no scene-stealing breakdown a la previous single ‘Coca Cola’, but in couching the source of its early inspiration, Little Red might have lost its most identifiable feature. The challenge of the second album will be to pack in distinct songs that we remember after they’re gone.

by Doug Wallen

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Your Comments

FrankieTeardrop  said about 4 years ago:

I was hoping this was going to be a cover of Herbie Hancock's 'Rockit'.


LaxCharisma  said about 4 years ago:

HAHAHHA!!!! Now so do I Frankie. So do I...


ocelotl  said about 4 years ago:

That would have increased my appreciation of Little Red by several thousand percent. Man, that video blew my mind back in the day. I even bought the album. Then my mind got blown again when I found out about Hancock's previous musical life. Nuff said.


J.R  said about 4 years ago:

Wow its in time and in tune! Way better than Coca Cola in every way, production performance and songwriting IMHO.


kskippi  said about 4 years ago:

Little Red Rockets of Borneo


Goal attack  said about 4 years ago:

ohhhh, not a fan of this at ALL.


Mentalist  said about 4 years ago:

Neither am I. Extremely average!


kskippi  said about 4 years ago:

Goal attack said 6 minutes ago:
ohhhh, not a fan of this at ALL.

Mentalist said 22 seconds ago:
Neither am I. Extremely average!

What you guys said...


FrankieTeardrop  said about 4 years ago:

It's a very confusing song, right from the sluggish tempo to the quaint 80s production and dodgy synth sounds. Not dancey, not really that poppy.... just confusing. That said, if you listen to it a few times, it'll grow on you and stick in your head. Kinda like a b-side to Dave Dobbyn's 'Slice Of Heaven', or something.


team ham sandwich  said about 4 years ago:

I like it.


samiek  said about 4 years ago:

Its a good song! its just what they needed to do. well done to them, they get where they are on talent, not hipster cool, so i dont know why haters bother writing negative comments, go and record your bonnie prince collective beard knock off, put it out and see how we like it.
that said it does sound a bit like jonathan boulet community service, but i am sure they wrote it before they heard it.


BurtBacharach  said about 4 years ago:

In the production and arrangements sounds to me like they're goinh for something of a Phoenix vibe.


__v  said about 4 years ago:

what a strange record to want to make


hillsonghoods  said about 4 years ago:

Sounds more like Scott Horscroft than Little Red to me.


hillsonghoods  said about 4 years ago:

Sounds more like Scott Horscroft than Little Red to me.


josejones  said about 4 years ago:

sha na na


FrankieTeardrop  said about 4 years ago:

Last night I dreamt that this song was a huge international mega-hit. But then I also dreamt that Love Of Diagrams played an improvised noise gig in the nude... I really should stop eating cheese before going to sleep.


P-joanie  said about 4 years ago:

That Thing You Do is on at 4pm on channel 10 today!


josejones  said about 4 years ago:

i just wanted to say that i hate this song, but i feel compelled to listen to the first 20 seconds over and over for no apparent reason.


knifetank2  said about 4 years ago:

interesting. had no idea this track was little red.
and i hope no one was dissing dave dobbin above.


knifetank2  said about 4 years ago:

yeah i'm hearing a bit of a phoenix direction too.


team ham sandwich  said about 4 years ago:

The more i listen to it the more i love it.


gusseting  said about 4 years ago:

CurlyJobson  said about 4 years ago:

Little Red are great - this song is great. They aren't trying to be Animal Collective, they write catchy pop songs. They will do well and they deserve it.


Bruce <3's Randy  said about 4 years ago:

Good job I reckon.


go_boogsie_go  said about 4 years ago:

This song will be huge.....(as in a big commerical success)...i rekon


hotgluegun  said about 4 years ago:

i quite enjoy this.


shoe-shuffle  said about 4 years ago:

I like it, but its a bit confusing, its like the lyrics belong to a jet song and the melody belongs to the polyphonic spree. Its really chipper and 'give us a hug' sounding.


percolator  said about 4 years ago:

I saw this video on rage and thought i'd drop by tosee what the m&n'ers made of this song. That review pretty much sums up my thoughts: confusing production but so catchy. If that's what they set out to achieve then they've succeeded haven't they?


theparisend  said about 4 years ago:

it's not classic little red, but i'm just pleased for them cracking the plastic ceiling of pop


klaximopark  said about 4 years ago:

hillsonghoods said 14 days ago:Sounds more like Scott Horscroft than Little Red to me.

Yep, but it does sound pretty sweet. loving the hats and snare.


valleys  said about 4 years ago:

loved this song the first time i heard it at meredith last year, melody stuck in my head since then and pleased to discover they chose it as a first single. cos it's not the obvious traditional first single to me.


BurtBacharach  said about 4 years ago:

I'm really enjoying this song now.


temporarybenbutler  said about 4 years ago:

They've got a clip out (not for this song) which is yet another Frankie-shoot-come-to-life, a la Sally Seltmann.

I'll die a happy man if I never see another bunch of hipsters dancing ecstatically in slow motion.


funtimes  said about 4 years ago:

Seriously this is a great song, This is their ''Sweet disposition''. Although there is a similarity between the Jonathan Boulet song ''a community service announcement'' I reckons


happycow  said about 3 years ago:

Girl who sits next to me listens to Fox FM all day, Little Red are getting play.


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