The Sea and Cake
The latest album from Chicago’s The Sea and Cake finds the band mid-lap on the race begun on last year’s Everybody, in which the jazzy, poppy, light post-rock was more ebullient than the band’s debut material in 1993.
The mid-lap shows whether the participants are capable of following through. The Sea and Cake have produced a fluid group of songs, most likely because these are their most quickly-penned compositions to date. Last year’s album had an effervescence it might not have claimed without the four years between it and 2003’s One Bedroom. That lifts the burden of the element of surprise from Car Alarm, which takes much of its attitude from the less-than-ayear-old Everybody.
Sam Prekop – more Chet Baker than Stephen Malkmus – builds on the momentum of the previous release, which reached for the roots of Nassau-esque jazzy-pop and abandoned the more electronic leanings of One Bedroom. What the band had abandoned at that point is what makes Car Alarm kick in.