This is no way
meant as a slur against the Sacramento band Cake, but I can’t help but be
surprised that this group has managed to escape the novelty moniker that is so
often saddled to similar bands that churn out highly addictive songs that sound
just slightly off kilter and quirky. Listen to 1996’s “The Distance” – still a
great song – and tell me that band was not headed towards one-hit wonder
McCrea’s hallmark spoken/sung deep vocals are still around for Showroom of Compassion, their sixth
offering, as are the staccato trumpet blasts that punctuate each pop rock ditty.
There is hardly a track on this album that wouldn’t fit comfortably alongside any of the band’s earlier works, and while
their sound hasn’t really evolved much in the two decades they’ve been putting
out music, to be honest, they haven’t really had to. Their ‘91 debut, Motorcade of Generosity, was just as
tight and compact as their latest. While contemporaries like Semisonic and
Fastball are biding their time until the next reunion show for nostalgia-starved
30-somethings, Cake never had to go through the nasty break up phase.
It may have been
seven years since their last album (touring all along), but Cake manages to pick
right back up where they left off.
DOWNLOAD: “Federal Funding,” “Sick of You” JOHN B. MOORE