- 18 Mar 14
It's only rock 'n' roll but we like it...
Drive By Truckers have been through almost 20 years and about a gazillion ex-members, including a married couple. You could think of them as a freakier, funkier Fleetwood Mac. At the heart of it all, though, has always been the songwriting of Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, both luxuriantly talented composers, whose lyrics bristle with imagery equal parts evocative and devastating.
The record spits out of the traps like fat off a roasting hog, with an opening trio of moving and energetic songs. Recorded in just 13 days it has the same louche energy as the Stones’ Exile On Main Street, with dirtier harmonies and a more downbeat ambiance. The tunes are peopled with fleshed-out characters like the misfortunate Walter – perhaps a nod to Willy Vlautin’s postcard writing antihero from Richmond Fontaine’s Post To Wire? Pauline Hawkins, the central character in Vlautin’s new novel The Free, also inspires a tune.
The record isn’t quite flawless – some of the slower tracks near the end don’t stand up – but it’s not far off.