Pop-funk rockers CAKE feature a spoken word syncopation sound with distorted guitar riff underlays and spattering of horns. Based in Sacramento, CA and formed in 1991 the postmodern band originally featured lead vocalist/guitarist John McCrea, guitarist Greg Brown, trumpeter Vince DiFiore, bassist Sean McFessel (replaced by Gabe Nelson in 1993), and drummer Frank French. The band built up a following with their debut album, Motorcade of Generosity, which they originally self-produced and released, but which was later released nationally by Capricorn Records. But it was their follow-up album, 1996's Fashion Nugget, that would launch them into superstardom. The single "The Distance," ubiquitous across all alternative radio stations that year, perfectly captured the sarcasm and a low-key delivery that McCrea used to communicate his status as an average guy. This same delivery marred the next single off the album, a cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive," which, though the band swears to admiring the song, was seen as an insult by critics who said the band making fun of the classic. After losing Brown and Damiani in 1997, Cake came back with a re-vamped version of itself, releasing Prolonging the Magic in 1998, producing the hit "Never There." 2001's Comfort Eagle became Cake's most successful album yet, landing at 13 on the charts. They released their latest album, Pressure Chief, in October 2004.
Like Soul Coughing and King Missile before them, Cake's takes the funk, jazz, ska and pop and fuses them together in a rhythmic spoken-word style. Unlike their predecessors, however, they lose the more hard-core aspect and give us something entirely new with a sardonic, sarcastic approach that skewers pop culture, even giving us a fresh approach to classics like "I Will Survive." John McCrea's lyrical imagery is especially illuminated by the layers of sounds that accompany him. The array of subtle scratchy guitars and horns create catchy melodies that stick inside your head, giving you an accessible and enjoyable experience on every song. While many alternative bands try to reinvent themselves over the course of their career, Cake knows what it likes to do and sticks to it and that attitude has allowed them to consistently deliver their unique and engrossing style of music.