Becoming Double builds on the best parts of the previous records by diving headlong into tones that seemed only on the edge of the Plates of Cake sound before.
Plates of Cake has been making great records for a while now. The band's first two records -- the eponymous debut and Teenage Evil -- were lean rock records full of hard-hitting hooks, sly wit, and deeply catchy choruses. The new record, Becoming Double, builds on and twists around the joys of those records and, as a result, is the band's best, most assured record to date. Some moments like the creamy hooks of "Rogue Flowers", the soul touches of "Faces in the Dirt", or the AM-gold sunburst of "Boyfriends" sand down the band's edge into a smoother power-pop. These songs sound, at first blush, nostalgic, until you dig into the careful layers of the hooks, the crystal production, and Jonathan Byerley's indelible vocals. Then you realize that these songs aren't nodding to the past; they're timeless. Around these, songs like "Old Time Brutes" and "When the World Is" deliver the muscled rock crunch the band has always excelled at, and mixed it with Byerley's sharp, clever lyrics ( he pulls playfully on dark lines like "my Christian blood is a curse to me"). The album culminates in the deep textures of closer "Cane Cutter", one the band's most intricate yet immediate songs to date. Becoming Double builds on the best parts of the previous records by diving headlong into tones that seemed only on the edge of the Plates of Cake sound before. It's the kind of record you can live in and with for a long time, while also building up a serious jones for what these guys are going to do next.