The Cake is a Lie

Cameron Hines

As someone who never heard of the band Red Jacket Mine, I wasn’t sure what to expect before listening to the band’s most recent album Someone Else’s Cake.

At first listen, the band had reminiscent sounds of Joe Jackson and others of angry punk singers from England. However, the band also had a more charming, alternative sound to keep the audience feeling more welcome and wanting to stay. Instead of screaming at you, Red Jacket Mine has a much softer sound.

This is the band’s second studio album since Hello, Old Cloud, and while I’m not a big fan of their sound, it does grow on you with more listens. I’m especially a big fan of the song “Engineer,” because it brings in some blues and rock that makes them sound like a twisted version of The Black Keys. The first few songs are tough to get into, but as the album progresses, the guitars pick up, the baritone saxophones start howling and the album gets going.

I suppose the best way to describe it is…well, it’s hard to say exactly what genre these guys are. I guess we could just throw them under the category of “Alternative” like so many other bands. They go all over the place with their sound, and it’s really enjoyable to hear the variation that these guys get in their one album that some artists can’t achieve over the course of their entire careers. One minute, you’re nodding your head to a nice smooth 80s-style keyboard solo in “Listen Up,” and then you’re rocking out to “Engineer.” As a saxophone player, it’s great to hear the instrument being incorporated so fluidly into the music

“Better to be Broken than Blind” is definitely the best song on the album, as it goes from heartbreaking lyrics to some jazz. “Someone Else’s Cake” (the song, not the album) makes for a great listen too, as it combines humor with sadness for a very “forget-sound.”

And then the album gets into country music. It’s really impressive the amount of variety this album has. Though I’m not a big fan of the first couple of songs, as the album continues it grows and grows on you, and soon you’re rocking out and enjoying yourself. I’m looking forward to the future albums these guys are going to produce.