The Sea And Cake
Rating: 8.5 expired boxes of fried chicken out of 10
In the least surprising news ever department, all of my favorite records so far in 2018 are by bands I’ve been listening to for two decades or more. Is it because the new music sucks? Maybe a little bit, but I’m sure that’s mostly just the crusty old dude inside of me talking. Is it because all these groups I’ve loved forever are still going strong, putting out some of the best music of their careers? This seems like the biggest reason for me…most of these groups used to break up after a short run of a few records, never to be heard from again. Now they either stay together forever, or get back together for shits and giggles (and money) and remember how fun it was to play together in the first place.
The Sea And Cake are one of those bands that have been going strong since the mid-nineties, though they’ve always worked (and toured) at their own pace. It’s been six years since their previous album “Runner,” their longest break, but multiple years between releases is not unusual. With “Any Day,” it seems like that long break might have reset the group back to their early years stylistically – the electronic/synth elements that had been infiltrating their songs over the past 10-15 years is almost totally gone, giving us an album that sounds like it could be the companion of 1995’s “The Biz,” my all-time favorite release (amid a large catalog of very strong output). Between Sam Prekop’s breathy vocals and Archer Prewitt’s jazzy guitar lines, the group’s music is some of the most easily identifiable in the business…it rests like a warm blanket on an old nostalgic jackass like me. “Cover The Mountain,” “Day Moon,” and “Circle” are as strong as anything they’ve written since the mid-nineties, and there isn’t a weak spot to be found anywhere on “Any Day.”
I’m pretty jacked I get to see these old dudes live in a few days when they pass through town on tour – it’s not often you say this about a band with a catalog this long that you’ve been listening to for two decades, but I’m really excited to hear the Sea And Cake perform these new songs live. If that’s not a testimony to the quality of the new material, I don’t know what is.