Sophomore album from Cleveland, Ohio band, Little Bighorn. All songs copyright 2013 Little Bighorn and Brotherhood of Lemur publishing.
"Following their respective stints in some of Cleveland's most beloved bands, you could say Little Bighorn was looking to old records for new licks. There was more country and ’50s rock-and-roll here, with reverb-y guitar leads and nods to the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, and Eddie Cochran. At the same time, the music remained utterly electrified and powerful.
Their new record, Golden Gloves may be Little Bighorn’s defining statement, seamlessly connecting those roots to their contemporary transmutations. You can hear jump blues in “Little Bird” (one of several potential singles off of this no-filler album), while “Hunting” is regal, college-radio fare a la Alien Lanes. There’s no disconnect here—Little Bighorn has found an ideal synthesis between old and new.
The lyrics are plainspoken but not plain. In “It Don’t Quit,” an electrified sock hop that explodes into a desperate chorus, Tony Cross sings: "what I wanna do, what I need to do / when the police come you can balance the two." Check him wringing the last drop of blood out of the phrase it broke her heart, or his convincing Little Richard meltdown in “What Do You Know About Love.” In the gorgeous “Most of the Time,” Nick Cross (who throughout the record plays the id to his brother’s ego) is able to turn a throwaway phrase like "most of the time / almost always most of the time" into a kind of incantation
Golden Gloves' production captures the quartet’s precision and fire, but the sound isn’t too pristine, you can still feel cold air coming in under the door. And damn if parts of this record aren’t downright pretty, too. It’s an outstanding balancing act.
Back at the bar, Little Bighorn are loud and assured, setting bodies moving, heads swinging, and a few hearts a-flutter. They’re at the top of your list in part because they write songs about guys and girls with the usual troubles who go to bars to watch rock bands and try to puzzle out how tomorrow is going to be different from today. You can relate."
- Mike Uva, Cleveland, Ohio. Winter 2014.
"Little Bighorn’s first record, 2012’s “Chaperones” is a pure mix of Americana and alt-county and the initial vinyl-only press sold out immediately. Since “Chaperones,” Little Bighorn has gradually turned up the volume, left the acoustic instruments in the practice space and returned to what it is that they have always done – writing near-perfect rock and roll songs.
Golden Gloves is a hook-filed record that aches with maturity. The songs, divided equally between Nick and Tony Cross, rock more than the first record and the lyrics paint an impression of lives in the middle of living. It’s not rocket science. It’s rock and roll. And there is a beautiful simplicity in declaring that rock and roll is what you are doing with your life and that’s it. That’s what Little Bighorn is doing here."
- C.J. Klasa, host of the Monday Morning Jazz and Blues Radio Show, WCSB 89.3 FM, Cleveland. January, 2014.
released January 1, 2014
Tony Cross, vocals and guitar
Nick Cross, vocals, guitar, organ, piano
Matthew Charboneau, Fender bass and upright bass
Jason Look, drums
Recorded and mixed by Brian Straw @ Ohio Ready Mix, Cleveland, OH.
Mastered by Adam Boose of Cauliflower Audio
Produced by Tony and Nick Cross/Little Bighorn
all rights reserved