Countrysides

Even while they were making early-'90s alt-rock hits like "Low" and "Eurotrash Girl," you could hear a great country band inside Cracker aching to get out. In the past year, they've officially set it loose - first with bluegrassy remakes of their own tunes (on the cheekily titled O Cracker, Where Art Thou?, released last May) and now with this righteously ragged set of wild-eyed country covers.

Cracker's idea of country includes songs both popular (Hank Williams Jr.'s "Family Tradition") and obscure (Ike Reilly's "Duty Free"), all filtered through a half-drunk, bar-fighting, '70s honky-tonk sensibility. It's all lovably sloppy, gleefully profane -- and a whole lot of fun.

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