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Car Alarm

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Album Review

Released 17 months after Everybody, a mere blink of an eye for this group of Renaissance men, Car Alarm represents an attempt by the Sea and Cake to be a working band — for what may be the last time, what with family obligations to place among the vast array of outside interests. The album was written in a burst just after returning from an Australian tour, and recorded in a fairly quick span as well. The results seem to have refreshed this band of post-rock stalwarts, who may never need (or desire) a radical shift in sound, but should have already easily fallen prey to laziness — an album where the adjective "workmanlike" becomes an insult rather than a compliment. Their brisk, efficient indie rock hasn't changed radically, but the insertion of an instrumental here and an electronics-heavy track there makes for needed counterpoint. The individual members of the quartet are still nearly telepathic in their group interplay; John McEntire's drums set the tone for each song while Eric Claridge's bass anchors the lower register, and the twin guitars of Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt scope out the higher frequencies.


Formed: 1993 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Sea and Cake are a post-rock supergroup of sorts, comprised of luminaries from the Chicago independent scene. The band is led by singer/guitarist Sam Prekop, who, along with bassist Eric Claridge, was an alumnus of the frequently brilliant Shrimp Boat. After that group's dissolution, Prekop and Claridge were offered the opportunity to embark on a new project and hastily recruited ex-Coctails guitarist Archer Prewitt and Tortoise drummer John McEntire before entering the studio. Originally intended...
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