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Album Review

Long before Travis and Coldplay came along, the Trash Can Sinatras enchanted college-aged Anglophiles with their jangly brand of emotive Brit-pop. Seen as musical fluff by fans of early-'90s pre-Nirvana alternative and ignored by fans of mid- to late-'90s post-Nirvana alternative, these five Scottish lads smoothed the edges but sharpened the hooks of a developing genre. The Trash Can Sinatras' 1990 debut, Cake, mixes intricately intertwined guitars, in the spirit of a more charming, less gritty Johnny Marr, with lush strings and sophisticated harmonies. Touchingly clever wordplay ("You came into my life/Like a brick through a window/And I cracked a smile") abounds, as on "The Best Man's Fall." The clean production — necessary for such elaborate orchestration — is extremely warm and inviting. Singles like "Obscurity Knocks" and "Only Tongue Will Tell" as well as "Maybe I Should Drive" prove to be the tastiest pieces of pure pop pleasure. But sugar can be bittersweet and laced with longing, as on "Thrupenny Tears" and "You Made Me Feel." Regardless of the relative mood, this debut is noticeably devoid of musical missteps — quite a feat for a new artist. Easy on the ears and palate, Cake is as filling and digestible an album as one could hope. Subsequent Trash Can Sinatras releases reach for the same greatness but ultimately fall a little short. This precursor to early 21st century Brit-pop darkens the occasional used record store bin. And it tastes almost as fresh as the day it was made.

Customer Reviews


Dave Kendall was the host... 120 Minutes was the show... Only Tongue Cand Tell was the video - that was 1990, and nothing has been the same since. I remember watching some lad in a rain coat, belting out these lyrics along to some beautiful music. My whole being connected with this seemingly desperate plea. I immediately purchased the album the next day and fell in love, track by track, with this band. The music was sincere. The lyrics were crafty. This still holds true today. This band is one of the most under-rated bands ever... and I think a lot of us true fans like it that way. Who knows what would have happened if they crossed the line into the mainstream alt-rock genre. All I know is this is where my love for Trashcan Sinatras started, and this is - and will ALWAYS be - one of my favorite albums.

I've been singing this album in my head for years :)

I used to own this cassette back in highschool, but it has long since been overplayed and consequently worn out. It's catchy, soothing, meaningful, playful, and grown-up enough to keep around for another ten or fifteen years. I've missed my Trash Can Sinatras!


A timeless record by a timeless band. If you like bands likr Coldplay or Travis then you will love the Trashcans.

Cake, Trashcan Sinatras
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings