David Lowery: The Palace Guards

David Lowery
The Palace Guards
429 Records

What do you call a musician who takes 20 years to put out his first solo CD?

David Lowery.

The Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker frontman is on his own for once with The Palace Guards. From his light, earnest croon to that evergreen scratchy belt, Lowery’s impeccable knack for solid and original songwriting is condensed on this nine-track jewel. The record finds him, as always, effortlessly conjuring both antiquated and modern-day ditties, rife with reverbed-out slide guitar, bells and acoustic six string strums. From virtual lullabies to tongue-in-cheek satires with lyrics that both bite and soothe, Lowery showcases his prowess on this record.

In the liner notes, Lowery describes the album as a collection of orphan songs and fragments assembled with the help of his long-time music buddies. “Raise ‘Em Up On Honey” opens the record with a mountain-band footstomper. The record moves into waltzes and ballads and out of spunky acoustic numbers, leaving no corner of Lowery’s wide repertoire unexplored. At the end of the record, the only thing you could ask for is a few more tracks.