The Sea And Cake, The Sea And Cake

Matthew Fritch

By Matthew Fritch

on 09.28.11 in Reviews

The Sea And Cake

The Sea And Cake
Offering a fizzy, chilled drink in the shade

A true novelty in 1994, The Sea And Cake’s self-titled debut arrived on a breeze of bubbly vibraphone, skittering jazz rhythms and lightly flecked Caribbean melodies. It didn’t so much fly in the face of the ’90s grunge movement – not that old trope again – as offer a fizzy, chilled drink in the shade. Among the grown-ups. At dinner parties and on Sunday mornings. The Chicago outfit is closer to a supergroup than any other band in the Thrill Jockey stable, boasting Tortoise’s John McEntire, Shrimp Boat’s Eric Claridge and Sam Prekop, and the Coctails’ Archer Prewitt. Three of the four band members are accomplished visual artists, and the fourth (McEntire) would be a wizard at needlepoint if he weren’t so busy producing albums for every other band in the city. The Sea And Cake is merely ginger on the palate; arguments can be made for 2000′s Oui as the group’s finest moment, and Prekop’s solo albums are outstanding variations on the Sea And Cake’s pastel-colored mood.