Album Reviews

Cake – Showroom Of Compassion

Released By : Upbeat Records

Genre : Alternative Rock

Links :


1. Federal Funding

2. Long Time

3. Got To Move

4. What’s Now Is Now

5. Mustache Man

6. Wasted

7. Teenage Pregnancy

8. Sick Of You

9. Easy To Crash

10. The Winter

11. Italian Guy

CAKE isn’t really a band I have followed that strongly in the past. Sure I’m familiar with all of their singles, and I do own a copy of FASHION NUGGET, but I presume that leaves me in a similar boat to a lot of people.

Suffice to say, when I ended up with a copy of the bands new album SHOWROOM OF COMPASSION I was pretty sure I would just give it a passing listen then move on to something more in my usual taste range. But then something strange happened, I decided to listen to it twice, then three times, then another time after that and all of a sudden I realized that I was a massive fan of the album. The usual CAKE trimmings are all here, from the constant blowing of horns, to the interesting use of studio effects and especially the odd but somehow mesmerizing vocals of John McCrea and they have really pieced it all together in a spectacular fashion and made an album that sounds is relevant in todays alternative music scene as what their older stuff was to the alternative scene in the mid to late nineties.

Opening tune FEDERAL FUNDING is a politically charged tune with a great distortion effect running across the drums and McCrea rambling away as only he can. LONG TIME is an obvious single which has a similar vibe to their big break out hit THE DISTANCE and will certainly please long-time fans. GOT TO MOVE is the most straightforward tune I’ve ever heard from the band and has a slight ROLLING STONES early RnB feel to it. WHAT’S NOW IS NOW has a familiar sound with a groovy running bass line and a very melancholic sounding McCrea. MUSTACHE MAN is a fun tune with an almost fifties surf rock sounding backbone and some great lyrics. TEENAGE PREGNANCY is a short instrumental track that I didn’t really get into at all, maybe one for die-hard fans only. SICK OF YOU is the first single and a very cool tune with a riff that reminds me of DAYTRIPPER by THE BEATLES. EASY TO CRASH is a bit of a hit-n-miss type song really and for me it was a miss. BOUND AWAY sees the band heading into traditional folk/country jig territory and showing once again that they are able to tackle any genre and still sound genuinely unique. THE WINTER is a late highlight that sounds like a mix between WHITE STRIPES and FLAMING LIPS. A fun little tune to end the album with in ITALIAN GUY that tells a hilarious story that really means nothing but is great to listen to anyway.

The music is energetic and interesting, the vocals are haunting and mysterious and the lyrics are witty and well-written, all of these attributes combine to make a very refreshing alternative rock album that should certainly make some waves throughout the whole of 2011. While certainly a step away from my chosen genres, SHOWROOM OF COMPASSION drew me in and still hasn’t let me go.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 9/10

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