The Jimmy Cake don’t do things by half. When they wanted to make a lush, orchestral album they came up with the masterful Spectre and Crown. When they wanted to take a break, they went away for seven years. Now it’s time for them to come back and, guess what, they’re doing it it very much on their own terms.
Master is a massive record. It’s huge. It’s enormous. It’s very big indeed. And it only features three songs. Mind you, each of them are pretty much albums in their own right. ‘Death Can Fuck Off’ (premiered on State last week) is simply astounding, a thirty minute track that melts your head with its sheer power. Replacing the strings and brass of Spectre and Crown with harsh sounding synths and a brutal, pounding rhythm section, it pushes and pushes the listener – daring them to either go big or go home. With a recurring, repetitive motif it’s hardly the easiest of listening but is all the more rewarding for it. Drawing you in, disconcerting you even, it’s one of the most astonishing pieces of music to emerge from these shores in a long time.
Following such an achievement is a tall order, and in truth Monster doesn’t quite scale those heights again. It comes pretty close though. After an even harder start, ‘Observatory Destroyer’ slows things down almost to a halt but loses none of the intensity. In contrast, the fifteen minute ‘Teen Mist’ feels like a punk pop sprint – albeit one that lasts as long as five Clash single played back to back.
They may be the elders of the Irish post-rock scene but The Jimmy Cake still have a few tricks to teach the young bucks. Ever evolving, in a scene where bands can so often merge into one, they have produced a record that stands alone. Suddenly that seven year gap makes sense. After all, you can’t rush genius.