‘Tough Love’ gets an 8/10 over at Hot Press

Album Review: Tough Love, The Jimmy Cake

Irish post-rock combo’s best record yet.

Initially written as a continuous piece of music for a one-off performance in Dublin in 2015, Tough Love is a delicious offering from the multi-headed Hydra known as the Jimmy Cake. A labyrinthine listen that’s split into two songs/sections, the band’s sixth opus is also the final recorded appearance from long-time member Paul G. Smyth, and it sees him go out in considerable style.

Cinematic, sometimes sinister and a little unhinged, it’s a dazzling, genre-straddling affair performed by a band as rock solid as Optimus Prime’s couch. ‘Tough Love Part 1’ is hypnotic and haunting, using tribal drums to build towards a powerful climax. ‘Tough Love Part II’ is driven by a primal, stoner-rock tinged main riff. Punctuated by drones and menacing percussion, it fuses otherworldly melodies with fevered soundscapes, tipping its cap towards the unsettling work of composer Akira Yamaoka. When the bass breaks in around the 11-minute mark, the band sound utterly huge. Where the Cake go from here is anyone’s guess but for this we say thanks.