Ten Year Old Cake Tastes the Same
Just looking at the cover of Pressure Chief with its simple printing press style, there is no mistaking it for anything but a Cake album. If the trademark cover art implies anything about this albumâ€šÃ„Ã´s sound, itâ€šÃ„Ã´s that it does not break new ground for the ten-year old Cake. However, the distinct stripped down sound that they have consistently produced for a decade is what has cultivated and maintained much of their fan base. Though their familiarity will be welcomed by many fans, at times, such familiarity makes it seem like Cake is simply clocking in for work.If not for its sound, PC could be noted as Cakeâ€šÃ„Ã´s most obviously cynical album to date. The first three songs deal with break-ups, while â€šÃ„ÃºCarbon Monoxideâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is an ironically upbeat song that expresses frustration about pollution. Even the acoustic heartfelt gem, â€šÃ„ÃºEnd of the Movieâ€šÃ„Ã¹ describes a glutton for punishment.
Even with a familiar sound, PC does manage a surpriseâ€šÃ„Ã®lead vocalist, John McCrae, who has been defined by his charming sing/speak, actually sings on multiple tracks. The successful opener, â€šÃ„ÃºWheelsâ€šÃ„Ã¹ will startle you when it concludes with McCraeâ€šÃ„Ã´s desperately careening voice, and the cover of David Gatesâ€šÃ„Ã´ â€šÃ„ÃºThe Guitar Man,â€šÃ„Ã¹ only further demonstrates his talents. Yet, Cakeâ€šÃ„Ã´s latest effort is stuffed with enough of McCraeâ€šÃ„Ã´s characteristic yips, and Vincent Di Fioreâ€šÃ„Ã´s crisp trumpet lines to not be considered a departure from Cakeâ€šÃ„Ã´s previous albums. Even the electronic backgrounds that have been imposed on the simple musical landscape of several tracks, like the single, â€šÃ„ÃºNo Phoneâ€šÃ„Ã¹ cannot escape the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s signatures. Though not an exceptionally innovative effort, in the end, PC fits cleanly into Cakeâ€šÃ„Ã´s catalog.