"It's been a long time," John McCrea sings on the second track of [artist id="3900"]Cake[/artist]'s new album, Showroom of Compassion, which dropped on Tuesday (January 11). For fans who have been waiting more than six years for a new release from the understated indie rockers, it sure has been.
And what they'll get after this long time is signature Cake, albeit with a few adjustments.
"We're not trying to change; we never have," McCrea told MTV News. "I always thought that was so wasteful for musicians to feel so obligated to reinvent themselves every album. ... That said, we do have reverb for the first time on my vocals. I think I had a moratorium against reverb all this time because I didn't want to sound grandiose."
There's also more piano, which McCrea said they avoided in the past "because we didn't want to sound classy. Now we're a little classier," he deadpanned. "I think we're doing what America wants us to do: being classy and grandiose. And rude, with the song 'Sick of You.' "
But none of this is news to the real die-hards, who have videotaped live performances of the new songs, studied the lyrics and are already singing along to every word at concerts.
"It's pretty great, especially if you go someplace like France, where the language is French and the album has only been out for a couple months, and everybody is singing the words in English," said Vince DeFiore, who plays trumpet, keyboard and percussion.
After spending years extricating themselves from a label deal, launching their own label and dealing with other issues that "musicians shouldn't have to deal with in a normal situation," Cake set about recording the album in an entirely solar-powered studio in Sacramento, California. The conversion turned out to be so efficient, they actually get a kickback from the city now.
"As the value of recorded music descends to zero, we get a little check for $25," McCrea said of their power-grid surplus.
But a band whose songs are perennial favorites for use in ads (Apple, Snapple), TV shows (everything from "The Sopranos" to "Chuck") and movies, shouldn't have to worry about funds too much. Are there any Showroom songs they think are ripe for commercial use?
" 'Easy to Crash' — maybe that would be good for a car that has a really good safety record," McCrea offered. "I might allow that. I'm pro safety."