The Sea and Cake Glass EP

[Thrill Jockey; 2003]

Styles: post-rock, indie rock, laptop pop, experimental soft rock
Others: Tortoise, Jim O’Rourke, Archer Prewitt, Sam Prekop, Fairline Parkway

With regards to Mr P's review of One Bedroom, I can't help but agree that Sam Prekop's voice may have worn out its welcome. It's become way too predictable and seems to have lost its unsettlingly charming Nassau-era rasp. But true as this is, it could be one of the bands strongest assets. Having seen these guys live, playing these new songs, I noticed that when Prekops vocals faltered and Archer Prewitt stepped in, the whole sound kind of lost it's cohesive magic. So what is it then? I believe it's the whole band collectively letting themselves settle into a cushy, over-produced kind of soft rock nod. Restraint has always been this band's strength, yet their best material didn't let itself slip quite so easily into vapid airiness. This EP reflects the plasti-sheen sound on One Bedroom (and to some degree on the previous outing, Oui). It's harmless, wistful S&C lite (as if they weren't lite enough) that is about as charmless as its slapped together-looking cover. It gets two out of five due to the Tortoise-sounding instrumental track 3 and the hooky Cars-sounding new wave of track 4. The remixes fail to revive their drab source material and "To The Author" hardly deserves two versions as it sounds astoundingly half-assed. I now know that I spent ten dollars on this thing so I can prevent you fellow fledgling Sea & Cake followers from doing the same. (For the uninitiated, write me at and I'll let you in on the good stuff in S&C's catalogue)

1. To The Author [version 1]
2. To The Author [version 2]
3. Traditional Wax Coin
4. An Echo In
5. Tea and Cake
6. Interiors (remix)
7. Hotel Tell (remix)