Cracker - Sunrise In The Land Of Milk And Honey
David Lowry has been making roots rock inspired indie music for more than a quarter century. Between his work with Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker he has made some of the most memorable, funny, and catchy songs of my lifetime.
Finally Lowry returns, with guitarist Johnny Hickman and company in tow, with Sunrise In the Land of Milk and Honey, Cracker's eighth studio album.
This new album sees the band dial back on the twang while turning up the volume. The group seems to be taking a more earnest approach to rockin' out on tracks like "We Will All Shine a Light" (featuring X's John Doe) and "I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right". There are even a pair of songs that could be described as punk-influenced: "Hand Me My Inhaler" and "Time Machine". The latter even references LA punk legends Black Flag.
The humour is definitely still present. "Show Me How This Thing Works" turns around Tom Waits' "Step Right Up" with the purchaser of the mystery product asking which ailments it will solve. "Friends", which features Drive-By Truckers' Patterson Hood describes how good friends don't hit on each other's exes and back each other up in a bar fight.
There are some highly accessible tunes on the album too. "Turn On Tune In Drop Out With Me" is a classic Cracker slacker love song. "Darling One" features Adam Duritz of Counting Crows on a country-tinged pop song, co-written by Lowry and Hickman with The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs and Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse.
Cracker kick it out at the end on the dystopian title track closer, ensuring the apocalypse is ushered in with a catchy guitar riff.
Sunrise In the Land of Milk and Honey may not be the best album in the Cracker catalogue, but it's fun and refreshing. Not enough band's make this kind of clever country rock.
The iTunes version of the album comes with the bonus track "Pretty On the Outside".
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