Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.


Taste the Difference (Latticesphere)

In the pantheon of guilty pleasures, Snack-n-Cakes' debut is right up there with late-night Cinemax and passing gas in the bathtub. This band is a lot like the junk food from which it takes its name: infectious, candied-to-the-core, and prone to go from savory to stomach-turning quickly.

Taste the Difference starts out as a sticky pop-metal confection. On "All We Are," frontman Russ Pasquale sings, with the nasal impudence of NOFX's Fat Mike, over strapping guitars that climax into a pure Velveeta chorus. "Radio Revolution" is a meaty, mid-paced keeper, even if it met its expiration date sometime in 1987. "Ted" is a dumb, delirious ode to bed-hopping, with a chorus as big as Pasquale's boasting. The band members complement their sound by dressing in delivery-guy jumpsuits, making them kind of like a happy Slipknot, pimping saccharin instead of Satan.

Later on, Snack-n-Cakes get serious, and things begin to fall apart. "Cryings Over" is a sappy, sub-Nelson power ballad that introduces a run of four similarly cloying tunes with truly horrendous lyrics. "When I look into your eyes, I see flower petals blooming on a moonlit night," Pasquale moans on "American Girl," and it's hard to tell if he's being earnest or tongue-in-cheek. The same problem dogs much of this disc: It's not always clear how much of their inherent goofiness comes with a knowing wink. But because we like a good Twinkie as much as the next guy, we'll give 'em the benefit of the doubt and chalk Taste the Difference up to self-indulgent fun, to be enjoyed alongside Young Lady Chatterley and blowing bubbles in bathwater.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Speaking of Regional Beat

More by Jason Bracelin

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation