This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I wrote back then (with some minor editing):
You gotta give it up for a man whose newest single is titled Bite Down Hard. But then, what else would you expect from Ron Hawkins, the former Lowest of the Low leader and composer of deathless ditties such as Eating The Rich and Night of the Living A—holes?
On his third album since disbanding LOL, Hawkins — not to be confused with rockabilly oldster Ronnie Hawkins — does his best to condense Elvis Costello’s first four albums down into bite-sized pills of pure, bittersweet pop. And he succeeds triumphantly. From the smartypants, horn-laced punk-pop of Bite Down and Little Backstabber to the Urge Overkill go-go groove of Who’s Gonna Drop That Bomb? to the irony-drenched balladry of Convenient and Guttering, Crackstatic is a finely shaped, sparkling nugget of style, substance and superb songcraft. After all, who else but Hawkins would kick off a gentle acoustic ballad with the lyrics, “Take a morning pee / Drop some LSD”? Chew on that.