It’s a Pretty Cake, But Do I HAVE To Eat It?

Cake.

The Band.

Walked into somewhere recently and was reminded how much of a love-hate relationship I have with these guys. Musically, tight as hell, but with such a toxic degree of hipster cynicism that it’s no surprise I haven’t listened to them in years.

The first song I’d ever heard was “Frank Sinatra” – and for those of you familiar with Peter Murphy’s solo career, at first I wondered if he had a new album out (I recall this being shortly before he actually did release a new solo album, but…)

Shortly after I heard “The Distance” and, having bought the album, really did enjoy their droll delivery of “I Will Survive.”

But “The Distance” gives the game away, in retrospect. The story of a race driver with a degree of one-itis, who sacrificed his relationship for his mission, racing, while leaving her alone in “her time of need” – and she just wants to forget him.

Ultimately, it’s just sad.

And looking back, despite the tight and interesting mashup of styles, love their basslines, the songs are beta as hell – worse than your average country song. Some are just bitter, a couple verge on red pill, if only just, but most are just… needy, and “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” is so feminist grrrl power that I’m neither surprised it was used as the intro song for the TV show¬†Chuck,¬† nor would I be surprised to discover the writer has some ugly skeletons in his closet regarding his treatment of women.

I want a girl with
A mind like a diamond
I want a girl who
Knows what's best
I want a girl with
Shoes that cut
And eyes that burn
Like cigarettes
I want a girl with
The right allocations
Who's fast and thorough
And sharp as a tack
She's playing
With her jewellery
She's putting up her hair
She's touring the facilities
And picking up slack

I want a girl with a short skirt
And a long jacket

I want a girl who
Gets up early
I want a girl who
Stays up late
I want a girl with
Uninterupted prosperity
Who used a machete
To cut through red tape

With fingernails that
Shine like justice
And a voice that is dark
Like tinted glass
She is fast and thorough
And sharp as a tack
She's touring the facilities
And picking up slack

I want a girl with a short skirt
And a long, long jacket

I want a girl with
A smooth liquidation
I want a girl with
The right dividends
And at the city bank
We will meet accidentally
We'll start to talk when
She borrows my pen

She wants a car with
A cupholder arm rest
She wants a car
That will get her there
She's changing her name
From Kitty to Karen
She's trading her mg for
A white Chrystler Laberan

I want a girl with a short skirt
And a long jacket

And so, despite briefly taking some time to enjoy the musicianship of a few songs I hadn’t listened to in a while, I put the discs back away. Maybe Goodwill will have a use for them.

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