Jazz-rock band The Sea and Cake released their fourth album in 1997. Opening with Sporting Life, the sound of the album is a little jarring at first, a sort of lounge-style noodling with little in the way of melodic hooks to hang onto. Keyboards, bossa-nova rhythms and flutes abound on The Argument. Such disparate elements somehow come together and work, particularly as the album progresses. Or maybe it's just that your ears gradually attune to what, it has to be said, is a summery sound on tracks like The Ravine.
The title track has a kind of swirling, 'no-fi' sound. There are nice touches across the album - the creeping, hesitant guitars of instrumentals Rossignol and Black Tree In The Bee Yard being some of the finest. Bird and Flag is positively... groovy, while final track Do Now Fairly Well is the least jazzy and most post-rock moment, reminiscent of Slint.
But it's less about the individual songs, more the collective whole. Music like this doesn't fight for your attention, it doesn't care one way or another. It just kind of buries itself sneakily in your brain.