Alt-rock icons Cracker have signed with 429 Records and are preparing to unleash a collection of new songs, SUNRISE IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY. Long-time musical co-horts David Lowery and Johnny Hickman have teamed up again with drummer Frank Funaro and bassist Sal Maida and along with stellar producer David Barbe (Drive By Truckers), have created a uniquely eclectic trove of new tunes. Well-worn words used to describe their sound—brash, irreverent, sharp-witted, anthemic and riveting—all descriptives are in full-effect on the new project that bursts with their trademark rock, punk, glam, surf and country aesthetic. Friends John Doe, Patterson Hood and Adam Duritz also make spirited guest turns on SUNRISE…Their 429 Records debut is in-stores on May 5 and the first single to radio is “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me” (add date April 7). Taking a new approach to their creative process, SUNRISE IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY is a truly collaborative effort for the band. Suprisingly self-disciplined, the whole band would take time out to write together one week every two months between tours over the course of a year. Focusing on a goal of two songs per day, their individual musical influences combined in refreshing and distinctive ways. On the outside it was a straight-ahead work ethic, but the process resulted in the band clicking creatively with a renewed energy. Says Lowery: “We weren’t kicking back on an island in the Caribbean, waiting for the muse to hit us. We got down to work, found the punk and glam rock in our blood and woke up to Sunrise In The Land Of Milk And Honey.” 429 Records is a unit of the Savoy Label Group (SLG). SLG is the North American unit of CME (Columbia Music Entertainment), the oldest music company in Japan. The Savoy Label Group has evolved into a leading independent company consistently outperforming competitors in key music categories as monitored by Billboard Magazine. SLG is lead by Steve Vining and CME is headed by Chairman Strauss Zelnick, founder of Zelnick Media which owns interests in and manages an array of media companies.
Camper Van Beethoven
At the time of its 1985 debut, Camper Van Beethoven's merging of punk, folk, ska, and world music was truly a revelation. Self-described as a "surrealist absurdist folk" outfit, the band formed in Santa Cruz, CA, and the 1985 re-release of its debut, Telephone Free Landslide Victory, made the Top 10 in the 1986 Village Voice Pazz and Jop poll. The group's next albums, II & III (1986) and Camper Van Beethoven (1986), followed suit. After two major releases on the Virgin label - Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (1988) and Key Lime Pie (1989), CVP had taken the music as far as it could go and disbanded.
In 2002, CVP reunited for a nationwide tour on what seemed like a whim. The tour must have gone really well, because unexpectedly, the full band trooped into the studio to record a new album, titled New Roman Times - a release that, surprisingly enough, stands with the group's finest work. A loosely connected semi-rock opera telling the story of a Texas teenager who joins the military after a 9/11-like event, becomes disillusioned, and joins an anti-government militia, the disc is the most explicitly political record of Camper Van Beethoven's career, resurrecting and amplifying the themes that colored the band's previous two albums. The album is proof that CVP pulled off an exceptional trick. It not only reunited - it picked up exactly where it left off.