LOW STOCK LEVEL
Spectre & Crown
"The Jimmy Cake are a nine-piece ensemble from Dublin, and Spectre & Crown is their first album in five years. Though relatively unknown outside their native Ireland until now, the band have spent many years building up a staggering reputation as one of the best live-bands around, even being invited to collaborate live with Can's Damo Suzuki on one very special occasion. Upon listening to Spectre & Crown, the follow-up to 2003's Superlady EP, it is easy to hear both the energy and virtuosity that have earned this band so much praise. Each track builds gracefully and carefully from an initial seed, be it the beautiful, accumulative piano of album-opener, 'Red Tony,' to the gentle rainfall of 'The Art of Wrecking.' Rather than focus on the quiet/loud dynamics that many bands of their size lazily fall into, the band instead offer interchanging instrumentation and intricate song structures in order to keep the energy of the listener flowing. This is no more apparent than on 'Haunted Candle,' where drums, guitars, piano, accordion, strings, brass and god knows what else emerge and disappear into the mix with ease and ability. In this respect, Spectre & Crown could be compared to the later albums of Jaga Jazzist or Tape's masterpiece, Rideau. Luckily, and for the above reasons, the band always fall on the right side of the redundant and over-used 'post-rock' tag, instead finding themselves in a space of their own where they are free to experiment and develop. Despite the number of people in the band the tracks always manage to show an element of restraint, a certain space that allows them to flow gracefully from beginning to end. Spectre & Crown is a fantastic album throughout, and comes recommended to anyone who is passionate about intelligent, nuanced and oft-beautiful music."