It’s never easy to say goodbye to a band. Arguably worse than a band retroactively deciding their most recent performance and release would be their last is when an act senses the need for a change and knowingly plays one last show together. More tragic yet is when that bittersweet outing doubles as the band’s album release show, and that record—made at a time the writing was unabashedly on the wall—finds the outfit at its absolute best. Saturday night, Caley Conway And The Lucy Cukes will take the stage together for the last time at Company Brewing to mark the band’s last show, as well the release of Silk For Life, the band’s latest, greatest, and final record.
“About” gently strums Silk For Life into action, with the soft, shuffling instrumentation taking a backseat to Conway’s angelic voice in the most relaxed form it will take over the course of the record. The twangy and upbeat “V’s” brings a rowdier Cukes to the surface and keeps plucking into “On Turning Ten.” With her incomparable pipes, Conway could sing the Yellow Pages with pleasant results. The bandleader basically proves as much by running through a grocery list on “Volcano Song,” a sprightly waltz with underlying emotion that culminates with sorrowful line “You see me when you hallucinate.”
Single, “The Dreaming Genius Sees” bares some teeth with tongue-twisting, scathing-yet-singalongable lyrics about a know-it-all “motherfucker.” Between that fun departure, the goofy goodbye “The Cheese Song,” and the gutting down-tempo majesty of “Friends, Real & Otherwise,” Caley Conway And The Lucy Cukes turn in a lovely and deceivingly dense batch of songs that puts the band’s best foot forward. Unfortunately, that foot is stepping into a burial plot. It’s sad to see The Cukes say goodbye, but nice they saved their best for last.
Before Caley Conway And The Lucy Cukes’ August 20 release/farewell show at Company Brewing, stream Silk For Life in its entirety, only at Milwaukee Record.