Driving home a different side to the Flying Nun sound, Graeme Jefferies’ The Cakekitchen blends a bit of that telltale FN jangle with buzzing leads and a clouded moodiness that sits well with some of their American post-punk/college rock counterparts. The band was a move towards a more traditional rock-oriented sound, following the dissolution of Jefferies’ former band with brother Peter, This Kind of Punishment. Graeme would always remain the center of The Cakekitchen as they lost and gained members, but here on their first album, the trio with Rachael King (bass) and Robert Key (drums) gives the album a full sound that totters towards the experimental but always stays just this side of pop (well with maybe the exception of “One + One = One.”) Jefferies has a warm purr to his voice that’s not unlike Calvin Johnson but not quite so jarring within the context of songs. The band would go on to several iterations, eventually releasing albums on Merge in the US, and collaborating with Hamish Kilgour. While Jefferies has kept the band up in some form through the late 2000’s and its never really lapsed, its these early pieces that feel like a vital bridge between New Zealand’s scrappy past and American Indie’s fractured present.
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