Cake: John McCrea (vocals, acoustic guitar, organ); Greg Brown (electric guitar, organ); Vincent Di Fiore (trumpet, percussion); Victor Damiani (bass); Todd Roper (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Greg Vincent (pedal steel guitar).
Recorded at Pus Cavern and Paradise Studios, Sacramento, California.
Sounding like a suburban, melodic, white funk-injected version of King Missile's performance art/standup comedy, "The Distance" became a novelty hit in the fall of 1996, sending Cake's second album, Fashion Nugget, to platinum status. Certainly, "The Distance" was the only reason Fashion Nugget went platinum, because the remainder of the album is too collegiate and arcane for mainstream music tastes. It isn't because it's obscure or intellectual -- it's because the band is smirking. An "ironic" cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" is the key to the album, sending the signal that nothing is too insignificant to make fun of. Their blend of collegiate musical styles -- funk, hip-hop, alternative rock -- makes the music easy to digest in small doses, such as "The Distance." ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine