39012-2 Kerosene Hat
Produced by Don Smith
Released on August 24, 1993
US CHART POSITION #59 . . . GOLD RECORD . . .
UK CHART POSITION #44
Find it at GEMM
39012-2 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T his is part of the story where our hero, taking a hiatus from highbrow jazz reviews, rediscovers his inner Cracker and with it the disturbing revelation that he could listen to David Lowery sing the words “titty ring” on an endless loop all day. “Low” and “Get Off This” are currently in heavy rotation in my mind. Should I decide that the secretly stashed “Euro-Trash Girl” (track 69) is worth sixty clicks, I couldn’t begrudge “I Ride My Bike” another twenty. At its best, Kerosene Hat invites comparison to those absurdist and absurdly catchy Camper songs (“Nostalgia”). At its worst, it sounds like flat Camper outtakes (“Take Me Down To The Infirmary”). I’m not building a Cracker Van Beethoven mythology; the dynamics are different. Yes, there’s still Lowery’s nasal-drip delivery and absurd sense of humor, the ghost waltzes (“Kerosene Hat”) and alt-country/punk rock adventures. But Lowery couldn’t have done a serious reading of “Loser” in CVB or played a straight country song like “Lonesome Johnny Blues.” As an elder statesmen of the alt-rock scene, it’s befitting that Lowery should strike upon a sound that mixes old (Beggars/Bleed-era Stones) and new (Happy Mondays stonerism). It’s tempting to see Cracker as just another alternative icon slouching their way back into the spotlight (and into our hearts) with bar-chord fury and half-baked ballads. Bob Mould/Sugar, Paul Westerberg, Frank Black, Cracker. But Cracker is more fun, less predictable and, okay, maybe guilty of a little more mainstream baiting in ready-made anthems like “Low” and “Get Off This.” Hiding two killer songs from their last EP in a nest of “hidden” tracks is just the kind of bribe that makes me look the other way when charges of commercialism come up. Color me one happy Camper with Kerosene Hat.

39012-2 back sleeve
39012-2 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. LOW    (David Lowery/John Hickman/David Faragher)    4:35
  2. MOVIE STAR    (David Lowery)    3:32
  3. GET OFF THIS    (David Lowery/David Faragher/John Hickman)    4:19
  4. KEROSENE HAT    (David Lowery)    5:34
  5. TAKE ME DOWN TO THE INFIRMARY    (David Lowery)    4:03
  6. NOSTALGIA    (David Lowery/David Faragher/John Hickman)    3:29
  7. SWEET POTATO    (David Faragher/John Hickman/David Lowery)    3:14
  8. SICK OF GOODBYES    (Mark Linkous/David Lowery)    3:07
  9. I WANT EVERYTHING    (David Lowery)    5:51
  10. LONESOME JOHNNY BLUES    (John Hickman)    2:40
  11. LET'S GO FOR A RIDE    (David Lowery/John Hickman/David Faragher)    3:06
  12. LOSER    (Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter)    6:06
  13. HI-DESERT BIKER METH LAB    (David Lowery/John Hickman/David Faragher)    0:40
  14. EURO-TRASH GIRL
  15. I RIDE MY BIKE
  16. KEROSENE HAT (DEMO/OUTTAKE)

CREDITS

DAVEY FARAGHER -- bass, backing vocals
JOHNNY HICKMAN -- electric guitars, backing vocals, lead vocals on (10)
DAVID LOWERY -- vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, inside booklet photos
MICHAEL URBANO -- drums
Heliat -- warm howl, cold nose
Phil Jones -- percussion, drums on (8,9)
Don Smith -- engineer, mixing, inside booklet photos
Rich Hasal -- engineer, mixing
Jackson Haring, Jeff Bender, Mark Williams, Gary Gratzer, Amy Lehman -- inside booklet photos
Len Peltier -- art direction
James Ward Morris -- collage
Jean Krikorian and Rowan Moore -- trusty designers
Holly Lindem -- collage photograph

return to CRACKER discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US August 24, 1993 Virgin CD/CS 39012-2/4  
UK 1993 Virgin CD/CS CDVUS/VUSMC-67  
JPN 1993 Virgin CD VJCP-25080  

 

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