Record Review: David Lowery

David Lowery
The Palace Guards
Richmond, VA

“Cracker front man’s wit describes overview of life”

“After 27 years I have decided it is time,” declared David Lowery, the witty singer/songwriter/guitarist for both Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, after years of collecting material that didn’t fit either band. Lowery collaborated with the staff of Sound of Music Studios, workmates for 17 years, in order to make the entire process go smoothly. Sal Maida and Johnny Hickman of Cracker also lend their talents, as does the late Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse), who recorded the piano part on “Big Life”. Non-traditional rock instruments include trumpet, violin, banjo, pedal steel and upright bass, but this is no folk album, despite the well-crafted storytelling.

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The Palace Guards creates a wide palette of musical styles, sounds and moods, from Americana on “Raise ‘Em Up on Honey” to soft rock on “Ah, You Left Me,” to pure angst within “Baby, All Those Girls Meant Nothing To Me.” The album’s underlying theme is autobiographical, as songs refer to Lowery’s in-laws’ true life story (“Submarine”), looking back on life (“Big Life”), introspective thoughts on Arabs, Yanks, the English and his dad on the dreamy “I Sold The Arabs The Moon,” and how his wife saves him from “Deep Oblivion”…she even appears in the song’s video. (429 Records)

Recorded at Sound of Music Studios in Richmond, VA // Recorded by John Morand, Alan Weatherhead and David Lowery // Mastered by Bret Lambert at The Kitchen Mastering, Carrboro, NC

-Gail Fountain

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