Sprawling America travelogue stays strictly old school
Drive-By Truckers are what happens when an oak-solid bar-band try to re-imagine themselves as an old timey mountain music ensemble. There’s lots to enjoy about their Appalachia shtick – frontman Paterson Hood is a first rank storyteller, salting his lyrics with flights of almost Faulkner-esque eloquence. You’ll need a strong stomach for this stuff though – at times Brighter is so rampantly old-school it feels as if it belongs behind plate glass in a Mississippi Delta interpretative centre rather than creeping from your stereo. Still, if you can’t afford the air fare, DBT conjure the sweaty mysteries of the Deep South with convincing aplomb. Spread across 19 songs, the 75 minute album – it’s too slight to call it an opus – also finds the band venturing into fresh territory; there are several R’n’B excursions penned by Hood wing-man Mike Cooley.
Key Track: ‘Daddy Needs A Drink’