Cake – “Walk On By”
Most listeners were probably introduced to Cake, as Scott and Jason were, through their song “The Distance” off their 1996 breakthrough album Fashion Nugget. The band has a unique sound crafted by lead singer John McCrea, who purposely sought to create music that contrasted with his louder and heavier contemporaries in the 90s rock scene.
“The Distance” was written by guitarist Greg Brown. He quit the band along with bassist Victor Damiani after touring to promote Fashion Nugget. McCrea saw their departure as an opportunity to further explore the band’s sound on Prolonging The Magic, incorporating keyboards and featuring several guest guitarists, while still retaining the band’s sardonic attitude aided by McCrea’s monotone vocals. There are heartfelt moments on the record with “Walk On By” as a standout track about a breakup and the wake-up call we get when routines and expectations are shattered and one needs to reexamine their life. A timely and introspective song given the state of the band at the time.
Jason discusses the history of Cake and their ability to give fans fun and fresh albums that consistently deliver a one-of-a-kind blend of rock, country, and hip-hop. Scott considers how the band is representative of the incredible variety of music on 90s rock radio that helped make several unlikely artists, like Cake, into iconic bands.