Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Trash Can Sinatras - Cake (1989)

VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIAL, part II: For the lonely and lovelorn

Taking a musical and lyrical nod or two from The Smiths, The Trash Can Sinatras capture mid 20’s directionless lethargy and musing romanticism quite well. I listened to it yesterday while getting drunk alone on Valentine’s and it was really hitting the spot. Opener, "Obscurity Knocks" was the single for the album (featured in the promo vids below)and is one of the more refulgent, poppier tracks on Cake. “The Best Man’s Fall” is an heartfelt monody that acknowledges that singular point in which you realize you’re not getting any younger (“I’m old / not wise / just worried”), and reminisces on happier days past while harboring apprehension for the future (“Good God, give me strength to face another lazy day of…”) not to mention longing for the greener grasses on the other side (“If I was a millionaire, I’d be a million miles from here”). “Thrupenny Tears” which has found a place on many a mix-tape of mine, is the Sinatras at their most rhapsodic and concise. Opening with scintillating acoustic guitar picking, the album’s third track is a brilliantly crafted and exquisitely lush pop song that hits all the right notes. Following track “Even the Odd” is another classic twee gem with a great guitar line and catchy rhythm. “Circling the Circumference” is one of the more upbeat songs on the album and has a soaring chorus with barely audible lyrics that don’t really matter because the music at the forefront is so good.

All in all Cake is a sensitive, angsty affair, no doubt, but hey, that’s part of the reason why twee exists in the first place. Sometimes people just want to hear about fragile problems to relate to their own fragile problems. That’s one of the beautiful parts about recording. You can capture feelings and put them out and it’s mutual exchange between the creator the and the listener. Anyways, before I get off on a lengthy tangent, I'll get back to the band. This is an album for the dejected, the lost, the confused, the frustrated. So if you feel like any of those qualities describes you, this might just be for you. Sadly, in my opinion, their following albums didn’t live up to the verve of their debut, but they’re still decent and worth checking out if you dig on Cake - and really, who doesn't dig on cake? (bad pun, sorry)

Rating: 8.5/10


Live acoustic version

1 comment:

  1. Great album. I actually like 'I've Seen Everything' the best, but this is a close second. More people should hear these guys.