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CAKE (yes, capitalized) is an American alt-rock band from Sacramento, California. They currently consist of John McCrea on vocals, Vince DiFiore on trumpet, Xan McCurdy on guitar, Gabe Nelson on bass, and Paulo Baldi on drums.
They are well-known for their heavily distinctive style, caused primarily by John McCrea's amazing vocal style. Also, every single song is about 1) a Girl, 2) a Car, 3) the Devil, or more likely 4) two or more of those subjects at the same time (ie. "Satan is My Motor" which is about all three).
They have a famously large geekdom fanbase, and their hit "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" was the appropriately chosen theme song to cult TV show Chuck, which is where a lot of their more recent fans will have become familiar with them.
Their discography consists of the following:
- Motorcade of Generosity (1994)
- Fashion Nugget (1996)
- Prolonging The Magic (1998)
- Comfort Eagle (2001)
- Pressure Chief (2004)
- B-Sides And Rarities (A compilation of covers and live versions of existing songs) (2007)
- Showroom of Compassion (2011)
- Sinking Ship (2018)
They provide examples of:
- Badass Boast: Sing it with me now," I am an opera singer/ I will sing when you're all dead/ I sing the mountains crumbling apart/ I sing what can't be said"
- Badass Longcoat: "Short Skirt/ Long Jacket"
- Break Up Song: "Wheels", "Never There".
- Cluster F-Bomb: The chorus of "Nugget".
- Cover Version: A staple of them. "The Guitar Man" is Covered Up for quite a few people.
- Death Row: The protagonist of the music video for "Long Time" is sentenced to this along with his monkey friend. They spend the entire video trying to escape the van taking them to the site of execution.
- Determinator: Taking a literal interpretation, "The Distance" is about a race car driver trying to finish a race he lost long ago.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Italian Guy" is about an Italian Guy.
- Fluffy Cloud Heaven: The video for "Sheep Go To Heaven".
- There's also a Fire and Brimstone Hell in the same video.
- "I Want" Song: "Short Skirt/Long Jacket".
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: CAKE goes all over the place.
- Nice Hat: John McCrea to the extent that in the "Sheep Go To Heaven" video as the band is draped in white robes and ascending to heaven a bird flys by and drops a trendy chapeau onto his head.
- Perishing Alt Rock Voice
- Precision F-Strike: Gloria Gaynor stated she dislikes their cover of "I Will Survive" for this ("I should have changed my fucking lock...").
- also Shut The Fuck Up
- Resistance Is Futile: Comfort Eagle. "Resistance is useless. It is useless to resist it."
- Running Gag: OHHH YEAH! ALL RIGHT! In about three songs on every album (Including B-Sides and Rarities).
- Signature Song: "The Distance" or "Short Skirt/Long Jacket".
- Single-Stanza Song: "Race Car Ya-Yas".
- Spoken Word in Music: "Mr. Mastodon Farm".
- Stop and Go: "Short Skirt/Long Jacket".
- War Is Hell: "I Bombed Korea"
I'm not a hero, I'm not a movie star/I've got my beer, I've got my stories to tell/But they won't tell you what it's like in Hell
- Word Salad Lyrics: Their lyrics are frequently vague, non-sequitur-y, and/or full of strange imagery. (This troper defies you to find a Cake song that doesn't have at least one of the three.) "Nugget" is pretty much the epitome of this trope.
- "Stickshifts and Safetybelts", the song is very clearly about the singer's preference for cars with bench seats and the romantic connotations of such, it stays on that topic and its imagery is rather mundane.
- "Federal Funding" from "Showroom of Compassion" is obviously a Protest Song: "You've received the federal funding/you can open another wing" is pretty straightforward. Still, not exactly as strong as some other examples.
- Word Salad Title: All albums but Prolonging the Magic.