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Cake,Showroom of Compassion
Upbeat Records, Jan. 11

02/10/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



The 50-point headline is that this LP debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, while the fine print mentions that its associated sales were 42,000 or so, the lowest count ever for a #1. I only mention that in passing — a discussion of the fast-crumbling music industry isn’t the point here, CSI of this worthwhile set of lazy-ass Cali slacker-rock is. The horn-driven “Long Time” drips of barrio ennui, telegraphing its intent with police whistles and hypnotically addictive puttering, the latter of which is all well and good if you enjoy having absolutely terrible melodies stuck in your head. But there’s good stuff too, such as the Strawberry Alarm Clock-ish ’60s-authentic “Federal Funding,” the lyrics of which sort of want to skewer politicians, maybe, or just sit and stare at the mess things are in, more like. And so this generation of record buyers — i.e. people who buy physical albums, i.e. almost no one you know — has spoken, anointing as a bona fide hero band one that’s a fascinating, catchy, but ultimately disposable pot-luck of Pavement, Beck and Calexico. They’ll be at the Wang Center in Boston on April 22. 

A- —Eric W. Saeger
 






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