I’m a sucker for a sense of humor in rock music. Bands like 10cc, Frank Zappa, and City Boy really flip my switch. Crack the Sky is another band in that vein, although more progressive leanings than either 10cc or City Boy, and a bit less than Zappa.
Crack the Sky feature tight harmonies, twin guitar leads, and lyrics that tell a story. “Hold On/Surf City” begins the proceedings admirably and set the stage for what you will be experiencing. Where it really begins to take off however is on “A Sea Epic.” A ship at sea is sinking as the protagonist is pleading with God to save everyone but himself as they all have more reason to live in his eyes. And God responds!
Next is “She’s a Dancer” which is lyrically similar to The Kink’s “Lola.” “Robots For Ronnie” is about a lonely and disassociated boy with no friends whose parents decide to get him a robot for a companion. “I Don’t Have a Tie” is about just that, not having anything formal to wear to an affair.
“Ice,” “Mind Baby” and “Sleep” are a bit less humorous, but still very progressive in scope and style. I especially enjoy the memorable twin-guitar hook on “Ice,” the excellent Spanish flamenco guitar on “Sleep,” and the aggressive power chording on “Mind Baby.” There are three guitarists on the record, with two being listed as playing lead guitar, so it’s difficult to say who is responsible for what.
All this is done with panache and style, as John Palumbo delivers his lyrics with a flair for the dramatic in his voice. It is a kind of Cabaret Rock and Roll. This is the first album, and all of Crack the Sky’s first three records are all highly recommended if you enjoy humor in music like I do.
Reviewed by Terry Jackson on December 24th, 2010