This review was first
published on CLUAS in 2001
Other albums reviewed in 2001
The Jimmy Cake
A review of their album 'Brains'
This five-track 48 minute long album from Dublin's nine-strong The Jimmy Cake is a welcome first to fans of the band's live performance and a fine introduction. Appropriately, these recordings have a live looseness that captures the energy of players engaging.
Leaving aside for the moment the inevitable list of comparisons and alleged influences, The Jimmy Cake can best be described as a kind of prandial refreshment containing sweet things like chocolate, sharp things like lemon and traces of nut. Seriously. The ingredients here are finely, finely balanced - a chunky bass riff on the floridly titled 'Ignite the Doom Carriage' offsets ponderous woodwind sounding notes of caution, psyching up to a terse groove that hauls you along its upward course as the noise guitars and spiralling sax notes kick in.
'Elevenses' is characterised by a doomy accordion and clarinet signature, underpinned by a spongy fretless bass motif. 'Hungry Ghosts' at 15:31 minutes long, steadily revs from a toe-tapping eastern-tinged preamble to a frog-marching open-mouthed celebration, augmented with piping vocals that go something like 'bah bada', which is a good thing. If Chairman Mao were reincarnated as a Hari Krishna he would love this.
Overall, this enthusiastic and supremely focused debut exudes an air of
positivity, not least in the nostalgia-tinged opener 'this used to be the
future': a prince of a core melody with sweetly lifting guitars,
jack-in-the-box percussion and xylophone, and a crescendo of trumpet and drums.
Sounds like a room full of old wooden toys playing together while the kids are
asleep and there is a certain twisted innocence to the music that The Jimmy Cake
make. They did after all call their album 'Brains'.
Which, altogether, brings me to that obligatory list. Now where did I put it? Ah hell, dare to let them be original. Go on.
'Brains' is released on
Check out the Jimmy Cake's website