Cake Like

Bruiser Queen

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The second of Cake Like's three albums is their weakest effort by far. As if to deflect any complaints about corporate sellouts by signing to Neil Young's label Vapor Records (distributed by Time Warner), the New York trio ramps up the aggression and cacophony significantly from their much poppier indie debut. The songs sung by bassist Kerri Kenney are particularly harsh, often sung with a Nina Hagen-like shriek that wasn't in her bag of tricks before. Combined with the goofy lyrics of songs like "Mr. Fireman," it's an unpleasant combination that leaves the listener missing the Breeders-like indie pop of 1994's Delicious. The band does manage a few solid tunes, particularly the Teenage Fanclub-style playfulness of "Lorraine's Car" and the punky "Pretty New," but overall Bruiser Queen is a botch. The trio would rebound with 1999's far superior Goodbye, So What.

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