Motorcade of Generosity
Label: Upbeat Records
Though it lacks a Buzz Bin smash, Cake's debut nonetheless established their deliciously polarizing template: dexterous country and Western guitars, cheerful mariachi horns and the oh-so-'90s wise-ass deadpan of frontman John McCrea. Here he croons and smirks his way through peppy tunes about Satanic worship, predatory ladies and soused war veterans (see the bizarrely affecting "I Bombed Korea"). "Jolene" is the fan-favorite jam, "Rock 'n' Roll Lifestyle" the acidic statement of purpose. It doesn't immediately sound like the template for a nearly two-decades-long career, but you'll be glad it was.