I just love that opening line to this #22 hit single from the autumn of 1996.
My first exposure to it was on Channel 4 which, at the time, occasionally aired music videos inbetween programmes. I’m almost certain this was shown immediately in advance of the main news show which has always been broadcast at 7pm.
Cake, as wiki informs us, are an alternative rock band from Sacramento, California. Consisting of singer John McCrea, trumpeter Vince DiFiore, guitarist Xan McCurdy, bassist Gabe Nelson and drummer Paulo Baldi, the band has been noted for McCrea’s sarcastic lyrics and monotone vocals, DiFiore’s trumpet parts, and their wide-ranging musical influences, including country music, Mariachi, rock, funk, Iranian folk music and hip hop.
They have enjoyed sporadic success in their home nation, including a #1 album as recently as 2011 but over here in the UK they have been very much an underground act and The Distance remains their highest charting 45 while the LP it was lifted from, Fashion Nugget, is the only one that has made it inside the Top 75.
I do like this single – the deadpan vocals and the trumpet solo help lift it above the norm.
mp3 : Cake – The Distance
The CD single had three other tracks on offer:-
mp3 : Cake – Multiply The Heartaches
mp3 : Cake – Jolene (live)
mp3 : Cake – It’s Coming Down
The first is very influenced by country music; bits of it remind me of Squeeze tacking the genre on Labelled With Love. There’s also a feeling of sounding, vocally, like Mark E Everett.
The second is NOT a cover of the song made famous by Dolly Parton and later recorded by Glasgow’s very own Strawberry Switchblade. It’s one of their own compositions and could be something out of the canon of Violent Femmes with added trumpet. Warning. It goes on for over 8 minutes and involves audience participation. I’m guessing it’s lifted from a radio show as the occasional swear word is bleeped out.
The final track is very much a b-side effort; it’s a bit laboured and repetitive. Not one that I’ll listen to again willingly – one for the ‘next’ button function on your listening device.