Cracker
Kerosene Hat


2.5
average

Review

by Joe Costa USER (34 Reviews)
June 19th, 2007 | 21 replies


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is the most unremarkable music ever made.

In all of the music I’ve encountered, pop- or alt-country is one genre that I’ve yet to find anything enjoyable from. Hell, I’ve gone from being completely metal-phobic two years ago, to now enjoying a wide variety from the goofiest (Dragon Force) to the most brutal (Cryptopsy) to some of the most atmospheric and elaborately constructed (Neurosis). However, alt-country has really never done much for me. I’ve still yet to hear a band that injects some of the better elements of each genre to make for an enjoyable sound. Upon being assigned to listen to Kerosene Hat, Cracker’s sophomore record, I am still waiting to find an enjoyable alt-country band that isn’t bogged down in predictable and uninteresting musicianship, and cheesy and banal songwriting.

Now, even as someone who generally detests the genre, Country and Americana can have somewhat enjoyable qualities. And by somewhat enjoyable, I mean that they don’t make me want to club myself over the head repeatedly while listening to them. I’ve encountered plenty of good country guitarists, and although I cannot name any prime examples right off the top of my head, I’ve heard plenty that at the very least have kept me moderately interested.

However, Kerosene Hat is just brutally uninteresting in that aspect. The soloing is fairly minimal, which keeps my attention span constantly slipping away towards other things. Even then, none of the rhythms provided by the two guitarists are really interesting at all. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find many moments on the album that require two guitarists, where most could be more easily and probably better replicated with one guitarist and a looping effect. The rhythm section is also fairly commonplace, which is a bit surprising even for an alt-country band. The drumming could be just as easily replaced with a metronome and while the bass occasionally spices up certain songs with buoyant lines, it never gets interesting enough to really save a song from being moderately worthless.

But as a whole, Cracker just cranks out really mundane and unremarkable alt-country with vague hints of psychedelia and folk-rock. Nothing really differentiates them from other artists in the genre at all, except for the occasional trippy section like towards the end of “I Ride My Bike” which comes of like nothing more than lame Grateful Dead pandering. However, for as bad as I’ve made it out, there is one highlight in the opening track of “Low”, which is one of the more rocking and up-beat numbers on the album, and a good choice for an opening track.

Lyrically, the band is really just average as well. They have a few love songs (“I Want Everything”, “Sick of Goodbyes”), a vague sociopolitical commentary (“Movie Star”), and a couple of other cliché ballad-y songs (“Lonesome Johnny Blues”). The lyrics are coherent, and there are really no major cringe-worthy moments to be seen, but nothing also that even makes me appreciate them as writers. It is just really banal and typical songwriting that isn’t cliché enough to even bother reacting to.

I really hate to end a review like this, and I was hoping that I would never have to, but there is just nothing more I can possibly say about this album. It isn’t outwardly bad enough for me to feel excited about hating, but it isn’t by any means good. It’s just sort of there. I get the feeling that if Guns ‘n’ Roses still had their own dedicated band of followers that this band would be throwing on the spandex and ripping off “Welcome to the Jungle”. If you are looking for really mediocre alt-country or lame Americana, I guess this would be right up your alley, but otherwise, stay far away from this.



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user ratings (24)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Intransit
June 19th 2007


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Warning, this review is probably the worst one I've ever written kthxbai.

Oh and it's for the stupid game. I hate you dfelon for assigning me this when I gave you Team Sleep. This Message Edited On 06.19.07

DFelon204409
Emeritus
June 19th 2007


3996 Comments


Ahahhahahahahahahha that's what you get.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2007


16089 Comments


Review plainly sucks.

Intransit
June 19th 2007


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I fucked up. Namely, I warned that this review was terrible, and the worst I've ever written. Oh well. This Message Edited On 06.19.07

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
June 19th 2007


16089 Comments


I did nt say that.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
June 20th 2007


4927 Comments


Iluvatar, would you like to buy a vowel? possibly o?

Angmar
June 20th 2007


2689 Comments


Review Album Rating: 2.5

User Album Rating: 1

Hmm o_O anywho, maybe you were hasty to hate this because it was zepdudes choice but whatever, ok review i suppose.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 20th 2007


17941 Comments


interestingly enough i was just out looking for some lame americana!

Intransit
June 20th 2007


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

No it's a bad review. I just really hate this album a whole lot and can't find any reasonable justification for it because I really just hate the genre that much, so I had to be fair and give it a 2.5.

And no, I really don't find this appealing whatsoever. I don't care who reccomended this. It could have been ilu who has been my best friend for a hella long time and I would have not have enjoyed this.

Angmar
June 20th 2007


2689 Comments


mmk, fair enough. I wouldn't be a good judge since i havn't heard it, but it doesn't sound like something I'de enjoy.

711
June 20th 2007


1341 Comments


Not a very good album, Golden Age is way better.

xfearbefore
October 28th 2010


1246 Comments


This review saddens me. "Low" rocks, so very, very much.

Digging: Negative Approach - Tied Down

RosaParks
June 27th 2011


14953 Comments


so much nostalgia with "Low"

random
July 20th 2011


2268 Comments


"It's like being stoned!"

BigHans
July 20th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD SHUT YOUR MOUTH AND START TO SPIN IT

Maniac!
July 20th 2011


26257 Comments


lol a 4

BigHans
July 20th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nostalgia brah

Maniac!
July 20th 2011


26257 Comments


that is a shitload of nostalgia

BigHans
July 20th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I havent heard it in years but I remember really liking this album.. Plus Low and Get Off This rape

NodScene23
March 28th 2013


270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is damn solid.



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