You have every right to expect more from Showroom of Compassion, what with its seven-year gestation period. You’d be right to anticipate a bold new direction, a smooth natural progression, or at the very least, a semi-return to Cake’s late ’90s/early 2000s heyday, when the band regularly plastered goofy, creative songs all over modern rock radio. Instead, it’s a record that finds them sounding uninspired, rather bored, and utterly devoid of new ideas. The best songs (“Mustache Man,” “Sick of You”) are decent enough for shallow rehashes of earlier highlights. The worst songs (most of the others on the record) are generic mid-tempo plodders that lack all the fun and oddball energy that made Cake an interesting listen in the first place. As long-awaited follow-ups go, Showroom is an unfortunately flat, staid collection of songs that are liable to send you scurrying to dust off that old Fashion Nugget CD.
DOWNLOAD: “Sick of You”