The Sea and Cake

Any Day

Thrill Jockey

May 07, 2018 Issue #63 - Courtney Barnett Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Delivering your first record in six years sets a high bar for any band to try and meet in this age of streaming and diminishing attention spans. Chicago stalwarts The Sea and Cake had the added pressure of appealing to fans both and new with the absence of one of their key members, bassist Eric Claridge.

The cover of Any Day, the band's eleventh record in its 25-year career, could be interpreted as a metaphor for a band in flux with a packing box sitting on top of a television. The lyrics of the title track even have the narrator asking a friend or partner to "please don't go."

To complement lyrics that go for the melancholic jugular, the trio of Sam Prekop, Archer Prewitt, and John McEntire stuff the record with pulsing drums, a tasteful mixture of synths and organs and subdued, yet still chugging guitars in songs such as "I Should Care" (an incredibly catchy number that will be aided by the record's spring release), opener "Cover the Mountain," and "Day Moon." Prekop's vocals finally find their place in the forefront this time around, but the band's "post rock" label still gets its credentials with "Paper Window," a drowsy, bass-led number with splashing cymbals and simple guitar lines that offers a sweet respite in the middle of the album. Even the aforementioned title track gained some pedigree from Brian Wilson collaborator Paul Von Mertens on flute and clarinet as well as an appearance by double bassist Nick Macri.

As with most bands who have navigated the indie route for more than two decades, The Sea and Cake's members used those six years between records to explore other avenues of creativity such as soundtrack work (Prekop), cartooning (Prewitt), and producing and touring in Tortoise (McEntire). But when they return to their first love, nothing can stop them and nothing ever will. (www.theseaandcake.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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