After reading an article about the windy city outfit and one brief mention of Chris Ware; The Sea and Cake remind me of graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan ‘The Smartest Kid on Earth’. Both have this bright and clean aesthetic whilst subtly alluding to the dark underbelly of mundane suburban life.
‘Tight as a nun’ is one crude phrase one might use in order to emphasise the perfectly synchronized efforts of each member playing on the quartet’s brand, schpanking new release. Vocalist Sam Prekop claims ‘I don’t feel versatile within musical language’ which explains why and how The Sea and Cake have concocted their own specific musical vernacular with a hint of the accent adopted by Sonic Youth. Parallels can be lazily drawn between both artists as Prekop’s soft raspy vocals occasionally recall the drawl of Thurston Moore.
The record is full of angular riffs and intertwining guitar rhythms that melt into McEntire’s relaxed percussive input. Car Alarm’s crisp production compliments the simple and clean layers of each song, clean straights lines and pop in its purest sense.
Gems such as ‘Weekend’ integrates chic (not the group) disco pop elements and threaten to become ‘pseudo sophisticated music’ club favourites with art school grads. ‘Mirrors’ incorporates steel drums; in turn contributing to the dream like sheen the album possesses that completes the surreal urban ambience.
Just as the accompanying video clip to ‘Weekend’ is a lovely portrait of the free and whimsical nature of youth; Car Alarm is a breezy vacation from the depths of the subterranean concrete jungle into the purer arms of mother nature.