New wavers and alt-country musicians often utilize the same theme: The world's gone mad and is falling apart, but you and I have each other and we'll burn it down or go down burning. You know, that kind of practical attitude.
Cracker has always had a set of songs that follow that sentiment—the 1993 hit "Low" off of Kerosene Hat, for instance. But frontman David Lowery also blends starry dramatics with wry observation, especially with his 1992 hit "Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)." Now, 16 years after Kerosene Hat, having never really gained ground since, the band is back.
On their latest, Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey, Lowery mixes Americana and gruff punk in catchy songs like "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out with Me" and the title track, both of which rely on end-of-the-world romantics. The music really hasn't changed at all, which is a good thing, though it could lose some of the lite rock stylings.
Still, Sunrise is a diverse collection. It helps their cause that country-folk-punker John Doe of X sings on "We All Shine a Light." And some people will care that Adam Duritz of Counting Crows makes a cameo.
Cracker plays the University of Montana Oval Friday, Sept. 4, at 6 PM. Free