Spice Crackers

by John Bergstrom

19 November 2009

cover art


Spice Crackers

(Bureau B)
US: 1 Sep 2009
UK: 31 Aug 2009

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, record companies found some success by signing moody synth-pop acts and dropping an album in the space between Depeche Mode releases. Thus, bands like Celebrate the Nun, Red Flag, and Cause & Effect were given brief moments in the sun. The best and longest-lasting of these, though, is the German band Camouflage, who had a big club/college radio hit with “The Great Commandment” in 1988, then swiftly retreated from the charts and the minds of all but a devoted cult following. This reissue of 1995’s Spice Crackers is a gift to that following. The band’s fifth album was not given a wide release initially and has been a rarity ever since. Derived in part from a failed opera project, Spice Crackers has been described as a more “experimental” work. Really, though, that just means the songs are longer, and there are more instrumentals. After some flirtation with guitars ‘n’ drums, Camouflage gets back to the synthesizers. The band always had a healthy art-rock side, and it still shows on mood pieces like “Kraft”, but Marcus Meyn still sounds like a poor man’s Simon LeBon, and Spice Crackers ultimately comes across as the electro-dance record everybody expected Depeche Mode to make instead of Songs of Faith and Devotion—only not as interesting.

Spice Crackers


Topics: camouflage

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.


//Mixed media

20 Questions: Nashville Singer-Songwriter Natalie Hemby

// Sound Affects

"Natalie Hemby's Puxico is a standout debut from a songwriter who has been behind the scenes for over a decade.

READ the article