Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cake Sings They're Sick Of You

John McCreaJohn McCrea, frontman for Cake, can be called a lot of things. But two things he cannot be called are bashful or complacent. With the idiosyncratic stylings of this Sacramento alternative funk-pop band, you never know what you'll get.

Except this time. Releasing the first single for an upcoming album might be enough for most bands, but it wasn't for McCrea.

Cake provided samplings from five more tracks on their website ahead of the Jan. 11, 2011, drop date. The idea of more teasers for Showroom of Compassion is good and bad.

The tracks seem to confirm there will be nothing as dynamic as the cover of War Pigs. And they also carry a theme of surprising singularity. All of it good, but the simplicity in a song sampling set from a band that's waited six years between albums could make for a head scratch. Five tracks still remain undiscovered. Maybe they contain surprises.

More than stripped down, the early teasers of Showroom of Compassion are steady and simple.

Mustache Man (Wasted) and Sick of You offer divergence from the pack of six. The lead single out right now, Sick of You, is familiar in that it feels as if the band never took a break. The video was released shortly after. It's classic Cake with trumpet bursts and uncomplicated guitar riffs, made new.

What makes it work is the near clash between a campy, upbeat arrangement and depressing lyrics about how hate starts broadly and then attaches to stuff that is closer to you. Then one day, you hate everything. Even yourself.

Not me. I just hate music videos with bunny suits. Otherwise, I like every sampling and the new single, even with the repetitiveness. Yet, it also makes me wonder. How much of Got To Move might be about where McCrea is as a songwriter, written from the heart?

Cake consists of McCrea (vocals, guitar, piano); Vince DiFiore (trumpet, keyboards); Xan McCurdy (guitar); Gabe Nelson (bass); and Paulo Baldi (drums). This is the first time Baldi has had a chance to be involved in making new music inside the solar-powered studio (joining the band in 2007). But it is DiFiore who stands out with his horn and most passionate delivery.

Sick of You By Cake Slices Off A 4.4 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

Writing for some other pub, the score might sound harsh. Here, it only means that fans will like it, it's worth sharing, and it may have aftershocks. This applies to the song. The album feels like it could be the same, but we won't really know for a few weeks until it is released in its entirety. Props, regardless, for self-producing.

Sick of You is available on iTunes. Sick Of You can also be found on Amazon. Special thanks to Dorothy for the album tip a few months back.
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