Showroom of Compassion
Following a seven year gap between studio albums, Sacramento’s CAKE is back with the compelling, yet inconsistent Showroom of Compassion. In a sense the band has come full circle, as the title of the new record pays homage to their Motorcade of Generosity debut, though it’s also unfortunately their weakest overall composition since that 1994 outing. The lead single “Sick of You,” while timely and catchy, exists in a very familiar spectrum for CAKE. Part of what made their last album Pressure Chief so great was the sonic experimentation and brazen risks taken. Showroom, while a competent and sporadically riveting piece, feels like somewhat of a paint-by-numbers studio session. Saving grace comes in the form of John McCrea’s vitriolic, sarcastic jabs at politics and Americana (e.g. “Federal Funding”) as well as some of the finest trumpet work in modern rock courtesy Vince DiFiore.
Despite its shortcomings, CAKE’s new record landed the number one spot on the Billboard chart after its first week. Songs like “Long Time” and “Easy To Crash” help to warrant the distinction. The band has undoubtedly forged a signature style over the past two decades and as long as McCrea’s sardonic wit is in the mix they’re always worth a listen.
Song you will remember in five years: “Easy To Crash”