Pressure Chief

Cake continues its study of the minutiae of everyday life with its newest offering, Pressure Chief. Pairing stories of breakups (“Take It All Away”) and odes to inanimate objects (“Dime”) with singer John McCrea’s mostly deadpan vocals and inventive lyrics, Cake’s latest is as consistently crafted as its series of crudely screen-printed album covers. Lines like “She’ll hang the baskets on the walls,/ But I’ve seen it all before/ heard the slamming of the door,” from “She’ll Hang the Baskets,” depicts McCrea’s fixation with failing relationships. High-points “Carbon Monoxide,” “Wheels,” “Palm of Your Hand” and “Tougher Than It Is” get down with the bass, but they could use some more of Cake’s trademark trumpet. “No Phone,” the album’s single, doesn’t really do much and sounds overly made-up. The band itself is far from solid, with several guest artists coming together to record the tracks. Overall, not the best slice of Cake out there, but still better than the formulaic releases crowding the shelves of your local big-box. Stuff it in a fun-lovin’ friend’s Christmas stocking, and it may not turn into a lump of coal.