Published Oct 21, 2008Hot on the heels of last years Everybody, their first album in four years, Car Alarm is the engine-heated sound of Chicagos the Sea and Cake as theyve always been, but with an urgency driving their airy substance. Beginning in 1994, the storied quartet of Sam Prekop, Archer Prewitt, John McEntire and Eric Claridge prolifically worked on a new record per year until almost the end of the decade. As solo work and McEntires commitment to Tortoise ramped up, releases emerged sporadically, challenging the Sea and Cakes unique interplay. When the Brian Paulson-produced Everybody appeared in 2007 their only record not overseen by McEntire the bands itch to play together was matched by a palpable re-familiarization with themselves. Staring down adulthood, the members time together is particularly precious now and they uncharacteristically went immediately from touring Everybody to writing and recording Car Alarm. Right from the Mission of Burma guitar charge of "Aerial its clear the Sea and Cake are more in sync. Their jazz-infused rock arrangements are tightly wound on "Fuller Moon and "Weekend, while the title track exemplifies the bands unique power. Peerless in underground pop, the Sea and Cake slickly set off Car Alarm.
What prompted this quick follow-up?
McEntire: We knew we had to do something while we were still in the zone, otherwise it wouldve been another four years. Sam was due to become a father this past summer, so that was another motivation to get it done. With Everybody, it took us a while to get back into the swing of playing together because it had been so long. We knew that if the iron was, at least warm, we could probably capitalize on it.
Youre back producing the band again, why?
It was nice to have a bit of a break when I wasnt recording us. But weve made so many records together, just the four of us, its like the chemistry we know that works. I know what Sam likes and how he likes to operate and it just gets things done quicker and more effectively.
Is the Sea and Cake a going concern again?
Its hard to say. Weve got some touring lined up in November. Im not exactly sure whats going to happen after that. Itd be nice to keep the momentum up, definitely. I love playing with those guys; its always a total blast. (Thrill Jockey)