CAKE- Pressure Chief
This four-piece have been around for donkeys years and they still manage
to sound like the coolest mofos on the block. I can't believe that I
never paid much attention to them before, with the exception of the
odd novelty cover version and "Going the distance"; still,
although I can't say that this is all you might expect from a Cake album,
I'm suspecting that it is and I love it.
I love it because it makes me want to dance like a lunatic Beyonce,
and makes me believe that I don't look like a total arse doing this.
I love it because it features afore-mentioned novelty cover of "Guitar
man" by Bread and that just makes me swoon. But most of all I love
it because it tells me to chill the hell out.
Actually, that's not true. When I first heard this, I wanted to cry.
Not only, for once, was this something for me to review that was actually
really enjoyable, but here is an utterly unpretentious band who tell
it like it is. From the kitsch hip-hop of "No Phone" to the
perfectly sweet pop-funk of "Waiting" and back again, Cake
write about the drollness of daily living, with it's feelings of frustration
and regret, in a way that makes heartache a thing to smile about, a
godsend for people as melodramatic as myself. And for those not searching
for the deeper meaning, clap your hands, sip a rum-based cocktail at
sunset and kick back. It's as simple as that.
UNDERCUT- Soul Food Mother
I gave myself an undercut once. I was only seventeen, young and impressionable.
It was winter and it left me feeling cold. I am tempted to say the same
thing about this Bristol five-piece. As accomplished as they are as
musicians, as much as they are flavour-of-the-month and have record
folk fighting over them (Ian Grimble: Manics, Mansun, etc. and John
Leckie: Radiohead, The Verve, Muse), they sound like none of these bands
and this makes them pretty darn uncool.
In short, this is music by numbers; it could be something straight out
of the bestseller "How to pen a melodic-if-a-little-cheesy song"
written by Hoobastank, or an equally as anthemic and unoffensive rock
band that conjures up images of men in tight leather trews wearing scarves
in the middle of summer. It is safe. The tracks get slower and slower
and, as pleasant as it all is, there is a little magic missing. Although
the singer sometimes sounds like the gorgeous Gavin Rossdale of Bush
(does anyone remember them? Pre-Americana when they said more than the
F-word in order to impress their audience). But who they really remind
me of is a slightly grungier Maroon Five. Now I am one of those people
that won't change radio stations when they come on; in fact, I'll gladly
hum along. Maroon Five are catchy enough. But so far as ADMITTING to
this? Well, no self-respecting serious music fan ever will. Damn, I