Sunrise in the Land of Milk & Honey, Cracker’s tenth studio album, is a great David Lowery record, but a bit confusing as a Cracker album. The album starts with a blast of energy on the first two songs, “Yalla Yalla (Let’s Go)” and “Show Me How This Thing Works” that seem to recall Lowery’s other project Camper Van Beethoven and its demented soul, more so than Cracker’s alt-country style. It is not until the third tune, “Turn on, Turn in, drop out with me”, that guitarist Johnny Hickman’s distinct jangly shows up and delivers that familiar Cracker feel.
The first half of the album is dominated by up-tempo rockers played with a youthful energy that seem to belie the band’s more countrified roots. Starting with “Friends”, a slow wistful contemplative tune that seems to search the true meaning of those you know, Sunrise seems to find its stride as the band plays with a loose country touch, letting Hickman’s guitar and Lowery’s ragged voice led the way.
As usual with Lowery albums, the lyrics are sharp, witty, and take a look at the ills and wills of those around us, before taking a big long look in the mirror. He sings on ‘Friends”, “A bit dysfunctional some might say/ Well I‘ve got the dirt on you and you’ve got the dirt on me too.” Lowery’s lyrics have always been brilliant in the way they attack the norm, exposing truths and myths that surround us in society.
Sunrise in the Land of Milk & Honey with its at time disjointed feel, might just be a dysfunctional album as it careens from maniacal punk to sullen country, but with Lowery leading the way you can be sure he is going to put the fun into dysfunctional.