US - Illinois - Full Moon 150 - 12/12/08
The Sea and Cake
Car Alarm is The Sea and Cake's 8th album. Last year's Everybody made Tim write a 'good, not great album' review here at LK. Once again The Sea and Cake (TSAC) is at the good plus level. And, with a song called "A Fuller Moon" this must surely be music for Luna Kafé.
Some three years ago I had a fantastic birthday evening with Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt doing a double bill gig at a small club (Blå) here in Oslo. Only a few handfuls of listeners, fine by me, and a chance to relax by a table a few steps from the stage, and the artists. Prekop and Prewitt both able to please you with their smooth and relaxing songs. Teaming up with John McIntyre and Eric Claridge again, this time they rock a bit more than last time. Car Alarm's opener, "Aerial" sounds like a mild Sonic Youth. I know Tim's a bit sceptical towards TSAC doing more rocking songs, I find the contrasting quieter/rougher songs quite tasty and/or catchy. "On a Letter" is most elegant. The title track is, like the opening song a bit like SY. Except for the voice of Prekop, being the tranquillising TSAC trademark.
Car Alarm holds a lot of delicate elegance and comforting warmth. Here are nice melodies, delicious guitar picking, and elegantly discreet rhythm patterns. Of course, in-between TSAC tend to become a bit too discreet and anonymous, with Prekop's voice floating flat on throughout the songs. That said, Car Alarm has got more than enough fine moments (some already mentioned, "The Staircase" being among them) to become a very fine album. Not great, but quite good. Perhaps G+. Or even VG.
Copyright © 2008 Håvard Oppøyen