Welcome to volume one in our several thousand volume series, Doktor Paimon’s Leftover Meds. Once a week (or more, if I feel like it) I’m going to hit random on my phone and review the first album to come up in my not-inconsiderable collection of varied music ranging from total crap to beloved crap to things I’m a little bit pissed nobody else has listened to.
I have to say I was a late comer to the Cake train. When Cake first hit the radio I was hip deep in my angsty goth-and-weird-metal phase. They were popular and had heavy radio rotation which meant that I was contractually obligated to hate them. [ed: That’s gonna be a theme…]
Comfort Eagle is very nearly the best possible Cake album. It strategically blends all of the things which make Cake interesting: musical influences that whiplash from honky tonk to the absolute worst of 90s alternative, McCrea’s detached and ironic presentation, DiFiore’s incongruous horns, Baldi’s fuck-you-funk-is-always-appropriate bass, and McCurdy’s understated yet always entertaining guitar work. Together, you end up with a series of songs that have wildly distinct sounds but are all clearly the same band. More, you have tracks which always seem to be on the edge of being something ridiculous or empty, a threat which makes them that much more sublime when they hit.
And they always fucking hit.
The back half of the album feels less strong, but this is less about the strength of the material than about three of the first five tracks (Opera Singer, Short Skirt/Long Jacket, and Commissioning a Symphony in C) being amongst my favorite of the band’s work. There simply isn’t a weak track or missed concept on the album and the intense variance between styles and textures allows Comfort Eagle to be one of the few albums one can listen to again on repeat even after the novelty has worn off.
Bottom Line: I’m a little bit pissed if you don’t own this already.
Standout song[ed: just one you unbelievable pain in the ass]:Commissioning a Symphony in C
Standout line: Literally the whole of Shadow Stabbing