The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Monday, August 6, 2001

The single biggest disadvantage to being a college radio DJ is an increased tendency to judge an album just on the basis of a few recommended tracks. Generally the system works pretty well (if anything, it leads to a greater enthusiasm for otherwise average bands -- my deep love of Sweet Nothing is based solely on the song "That Ticking Sound"), but I am now forced to condemn it, for the sole reason that it has taken me years to properly appreciate the fabulous Cakekitchen album, The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.

For those not familiar with the band, The Cakekitchen is the project of Graeme Jefferies (also of This Kind of Punishment, the group he was in with his slightly-more-famous brother, Peter Jefferies) For the most part, the album is just Graeme and his drummer, with the esteemed Alastair Galbraith lending occassional support on the violin. Sonically, it is certainly not out of place with the 90's New Zealand sound (chorus-laden guitars, Robyn Hitchcock-y vocals), but with a slightly more aggressive avant-garde noise approach. Very good, but just listening to the recommended tracks (most likely "Bald Old Bear", the single released prior to the album) doesn't begin to tell half the story.

Worth listening to, of course, but put on "I Know You Know" and tell me that isn't one of the best songs ever. Sounds like Galbraith when he's trying to be melodic, but with great vocals and guitar work. Fabulous. Then let the album play. Listen to "You Make A God of Money" (what a title!). Starts all sleepy and pretty, then, abruptly, they rock out. Not many bands can handle that kind of transition without sounding forced, but it springs forth so naturally you can't help but admire it.

And it stays just as good. I'm a big fan of the strummy, acoustic songs, but the strange noisy ones (featuring highway sounds) are great in their own own.

Retroactively added to my Favorite Albums of the 90's list.

Rating: A

Reviewed by Padgett Arango
Contents
The Hills Have Eyes 2

Hostel Part II

Six Degrees

Shark

Jericho

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Justice

The Hills Have Eyes

Love Monkey

Out of Practice

Head Cases

Crunchwrap Supreme

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Batman Begins

Garden State

Hero

13 Going On 30

LAX

Starman

quirkyalone.net

Kill Bill, Vol. 2

Line of Fire

We Shall All Be Healed

Happy Family

Arrested Development

Love Actually

A Minute with Stan Hooper

Tarzan

Karen Sisco

Stop All the World Now

Cold Case

Skin

10-8

Joan of Arcadia

Eve

Luis

Lost In Translation

House of 1000 Corpses

Bubba Ho-Tep

Darkness Falls

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Amazing Race

Treasure Island

FearDotCom

Adaptation

To Hit Armor Class Zero

Without A Trace

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Life With Bonnie

Jalapeņo Cheeseburger

The Mothman Prophecies

Happy Campers

The Man Who Wasn't There

Kiss of the Dragon

Josie & the Pussycats

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Dr. Pepper

Know By Heart

Waking Life

L.I.E.

Thirteen Ghosts

Earthlink presents Chang and Eng

New York and Country Bar

Change

Motivation and Water Tower Grammar

Crossing Philly

Makeout Club

Undeclared

The Gap

The Abolition of Work

3000 Miles to Graceland

Kolobos

Duets

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Diesel Sweeties

The Cold Six Thousand

The Grilled Stuft Burrito (Rebuttal)

60 Second Wipeout

The Patriot

Grilled Stuft Burrito

Cowgirls

Crystalline

Frankenfinger E.P.

One Force Down

Shake

Both Our Secrets

Happy Birthday Captain Columbus!

Fight Club

Whatever It Takes

Committed

That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

Joe Dirt

The Veggie Whopper

Taco Bell Nachos

Palmetto

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

The Terror of Mechagodzilla

To The Center

Infiniti+Infiniti

American Psycho

The Del Shredder

What Lies Beneath

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Bring It On

Chill Factor

Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars

Bad Company

The Blair Witch Project

Hyacinths and Thistles

Lake of Dracula

We'll Have a Time

Home Depot

Snow Day

The Virgin Suicides