Cracker, the group that veritably introduced brash irreverence and irony into alt-rock.
This rich new trove of sharp-witted songs showcases a bristling, late 70’s – early 80’s power pop punk aesthetic which hits as hard as it did at the band’s formation 17 years ago. Eight albums (one platinum and three gold) and a barrel full of anthemic hit songs later, Cracker endures, using their ability to weave decades of influences into an album that is seamlessly riveting.
In Sunrise…, long-time partners David Lowery and Johnny Hickman, 12-year Cracker drummer Frank Funaro and bassist Sal Maida (since 2006), train a watchful eye on the current socio-musical landscape as they weave an eerie yet strangely soothing story of escapism, apocalypse and renewal. Friends John Doe, Patterson Hood and Adam Duritz (whose mega-band Counting Crows was once produced by Lowery) make spirited guest appearances. The recording was helmed by Athens, GA-based producer/engineer David Barbe, a longtime friend of Lowery who has manned consoles for the likes of Son Volt and the alt-Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers.
Sometime when grant money's not so tight, some super-hip researcher (I know, I know, there aren't any) needs to do a study of how David Lowery's career perfectly parallels the rise and fall and rise again of alternative rock. With Santa Cruz's Camper van Beethoven, he provided a model for college-rock bands, building a following with smart, out-there songs that the mainstream didn't know what to do with. By the time he started Cracker in the early '90s, guys like him had changed music so much that he was the mainstream, and songs like "Low" and "Euro-Trash Girl" that would have been cult gems were instead megahits. By the mid-90s, the mainstream had moved on, but Cracker was a live juggernaut with a massive following. They knew their future was in touring, not records, before most of the music industry did. Now Lowery tours relentlessly with both Cracker and a re-formed Camper. - Steve Palopoli sanjose.com