By Erik Myers
Singer Nate Valdez and drummer Eric Riley have had a strange, genre-blending journey as In The Whale; Cake being their hard rock affirmation. The Denver duo achieve an impressive intensity, but the songwriting tends to cop material from influences instead of developing on their cues, like the Eagles of Death Metal chorus on “34-28-32.” Cake is more compelling for its tongue-in-cheek Christian subtext. Valdez sings of being distracted from “the Lord’s work” by a bad news beauty, described first as “an affliction,” then as “an addiction.” In the end, he becomes the temptress, borrowing a chorus line –”Like a tree that’s standing by the water, I shall not be moved” – from a gospel hymn. But considering the full context, it’s more like he’s giving in to temptation, skewing the phrase to justify his less-than-holy pursuit.