"A hugely entertaining country album" Bang *** -- Bang
"Country music for the White Stripes generation ... genius." The Profile *** -- The Profile
"Countrysides is a rare thing: a wholly enjoyable folly
a foot-tapping delight" Classic Rock **** -- Classic Rock
"Saddle up and buy one." Guardian **** -- The Guardian
About the Artist
It was in the recording studio last year that Brandy and Kenny first discussed the sudden appearance of the mullet haircut worn by hipsters in the East Village. Though widely parodied, it seemed as if a few brave souls had embraced the haircut as the ultimate fashion statement. Brandy: Yeah, but theyre not real mullets. Kenny: You mean theyre wigs? Brandy: No, they¹re wearing them ironically. Kenny: Ironic mullets hmm. That¹s a good band name. Maybe that should be the pseudonym for Cracker¹s alter ego. The alter ego Kenny referred to is the country band that lurks within Cracker. The band within the band. The one that manifests itself in a song or two on every Cracker record and live during a Merle Haggard song at soundcheck or a Dwight Yoakam song during the encore. Before long, the "alter ego" was booked for one show. The band humbled the audience with its business on top and a party in the back show. The show was a success and the band asked, "What would Cracker sound like if it were a country band?" This was an interesting question for a band that draws so much from Americana and country music.
The band decided that the only way to answer this question properly was to get out and play some more shows. Some might call this method acting. Of course, it couldnt play in the traditional venues that Cracker had become used to and it couldn't perform under their own name.
Thus, Ironic Mullet was born. The band, not the haircut.
During a six-month period, the band played redneck and biker bars as Ironic Mullet. You¹ve seen these places along the old highways and on the outskirts of our big cities--bars with names such as Ape Hangers, Bubba's and The Rebel Lounge.
Countrysides is the result of this experiment. Its sound is more garage country than alt-country. More Southwestern than Southern. Yet undeniably, it still has the things that I like so much about Cracker¹s records. Best of all, the record has that sense of place and context that Cracker records always have. This is evident in the film that accompanies the record (the enhanced portion of this CD contains an excerpt).
In the film, its explicitly clear that the band made this record against the backdrop of a coming war, resurgent American imperialism and a far-right Christian fundamentalist regime in Washington DC. Songs like Merle Haggards "Okie from Muskogee" and Ray Wylie Hubbards "Up Against the Wall Redneck Mothers" are changed from being quaint relics of a bygone era to timely agit-pop.
Musicians: David Lowery gtr, vox John Hickman gtr, vox Kenny Margolis, keys, percussion, accordion Frank Funaro drums Brandy Wood - bass, vox