The Sea and Cake

Everybody

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    7
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You could call the Sea and Cake classic underachievers, since they unerringly turn out the same album nearly every time (or simply apply shadings yet more subtle with every subsequent release), but two qualities get in the way of that diagnosis. First, the four members have so many outside interests -- solo albums, production work, other bands, photography, comic books, etc. -- that they could never be called lazy. Second, the Sea and Cake have continued making records that possess an exquisite beauty, a quality their fans would never want to give up for the sake of experimentalism. All this is to say that the band has produced another gorgeous album, just like the ones that preceded it, despite the early press reports that Everybody would be a straight-ahead rock album with few overdubs. (That is quite true, but it doesn't change the sound a bit.) Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt indulge in the type of dual-guitar interplay that recalls Television more than anyone else, but the Sea and Cake's revolution was always a quiet one, and it's no different here. Waves of guitar -- fuzzy, washed, or jagged but always impeccably lean -- power the best songs: the opening "Up on Crutches," "Crossing Line," and, near the end, "Left On," where John McEntire's lively percussion serves to focus several minutes of clever guitar feedback and distortion.

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