Coming not long after The Cakekitchen's marvellous 'Time Flowing Backwards' (also re-issued on Dais) comes 'World of Sand'. This time head man Graeme Jeffries worked with his live band and if the album doesn't quite have the magical charm of 'Time....' it has more variation and a slightly harsher sound palette. That's not to say that Jeffries low-voiced prettiness isn't in evidence. Fans of Flying Nun records need to grab these much sought after releases.
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The second of our two Cakekitchen reissues, with second being the subjective watchword here -- I’m just arbitrarily deciding that ‘Time Flowing Backwards’ is first even though Homestead Records originally released both in ‘91. I wasn’t actually alive then, but I quickly wised up to the Jefferies brothers, who were making an awful racket before they realised everyone would remember their home country as the place of kind, jangly twee poppers. After Nocturnal Projection sand This Kind of Punishment got all the distortion from the bottom of their cereal packets, Graeme went on to form Cakekitchen without brother Peter, continuing to balance their love of chiming soft pop and noisy, frostbitten post-punk a la Wipers.
‘World of Sand’ tends to balance the more ominous side of Jefferies’ creations with a nod or two to the nice. Distorted, half-audible songs take up much of the record; the near-identical vocal doubling and stark, sharp strums of “This Perfect Day” are indicative of someone happy to hold out on the hooks ‘til the end of the song, while the R.E.M. remembering “Isle of Pittsburg” starts as a nugget of stripped back melancholia before shredding its way out of the tunnel. Even on the acoustic tunes such as “Don’t Be Fooled by the Label”, things sound bitter and discordant, a wiry string arrangement piercing through an already disturbingly thrummed piano procession.
It’s always hard to know whether Jefferies preferred the loveliness or the lurching, so this track enters a prettier second suite while retaining its gnarled aesthetic. “Tomorrow Came Today”, which follows a lovely little riff, is self-sabotaged with a bout of beautiful noise and a sombre bassline, suggesting him at his very best. The title track is the loveliest, a folkish ditty that sounds entirely at peace with itself. If you like Jefferies, though, you know the deal: it's not one or the other, but rather noise and nice.
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- World of Sand by The Cakekitchen
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