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Cake
Comfort Eagle
Columbia


Having spent most of the 90ís on Columbiaís mailing list, Iíve been able to listen to every Cake record ever released for free, and itís a damn good thing I didnít have to pay for all these Cake records, cuz I woulda felt cheated. Cake records are like a lotta old Bowie recordsÖthe man knew how to pick the hit single, and every long player Bowie ever made had at least one or two, but the rest of the record was a stinker, or was just mediocre by the singleís standards. Since Iíve never had to pay for the privilege of having all of this Cake, Iím not angry with them. To the contrary, Iím a bit in awe of how a band of their marginal talent can continue to thrive for so long in such a fickle business. They donít get by on their looksÖin fact, theyíve never put their picture in the cover of any of their records, and they donít even appear in their new video (which is a funny and brilliant clip). They are not trend mongerersÖtheir sound hasnít changed since Motorcade Of Generosity back in 1994. They are not a production machine, exactlyÖfour albums in seven years, thatís something like forty-five or so songs, seven of which are great, and the rest, forgettable, and thatís why people love getting music from the internet!

There are two tracks you may want to have from Comfort Eagle, donít even bother with the rest, unless yer just jonesing for a "College Rock" fix and yer burned out on Weezer. The single, "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" sounds great on the radio in the car with the windows down! Seriously. It has plenty of clever images, too many to list here, but youíll hear it on the radio, donít panic! Turn on yer FM, itíll be on any minute, or, you can see the video on MTV at 3:58AM, when MTV isnít promoting movies for children to run out and see cuz they have nothing else to do with their summer cuz they are somewhere above menial summer labor, like bagging groceries, parking golf carts, etc., but fall somewhere below the class of family that sends their children off to summer in Tuscany to have a "worldly experience." At any rate, stay up Ďtil 3:58AM and watch MTV and youíll see the clip and youíll think itís brilliant too, and, if yer paying attention (like me) youíll notice the Lou Reed thing in full bloom. What I mean to say is, Iíve long thought that Cake crooner John McCrae often sounds like Lou Reed when he does that speak-sing style vocal thing. The first time I heard "How Can You Afford Your Rock And Roll Lifestyle" on the radio years ago, I almost pulled the car over, thinking "ShitÖLou Reed got a sense of humor? How? When? Hooray!" but it was John, not Lou, and on "Short Skirt", listen close and youíll hear a variation of the guitar chords from "Sweet Jane." Honest you will.

Oh, the other good song (the second of two out of a total of eleven tracks for those of you keeping score at home) on Comfort EagleÖis called "Comfort Eagle" (the title track) and it is again full of clever lines and a nice marching percussion rhythm that kids will love, cuz kids love anything that they can practice exaggerated body movements along with. The kids will also love to sing the "Dooooooood!" part too, especially if the kids are in a group of six in a minivan with a decent stereo.

At a list price of $17.97, (oh fuck off, Columbia) you donít need this, unless you feel the need to support Cakeís rock and roll lifestyle, and thatís fineÖthere are worse things you could do, like pay to attend Ozzfest, or buy an Insane Clown Posse record. However, my advice is rip and burn the afore mentioned singles and go see Cake play all their hits live when they come to your town. And bring the kids.

Jeff Noise

Track Listing:

  1. Opera Singer
  2. Meanwhile, Rick James
  3. Shadow Stabbing
  4. Short Skirt/Long Jacket
  5. Commissioning a Symphony In C
  6. Arco Arena
  7. Comfort Eagle
  8. Long Line Of Cars
  9. Love You Madly
  10. Pretty Pink Ribbon
  11. World Of Two

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