Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Don't Piss Off the Boys from Alabama

Finally getting around to reviewing some of these new phenomenal albums that have been released lately. I will start in chronological order with the new Drive-By Truckers.

Brighter than Creation's Dark
begins with the boys from Alabama's finest tune on the album. "Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife" combines Hood's rough-around-the-edges vocals accompanied with a divine selection of instruments including a gritty plucking banjo.

Numero Dos continues my grin with a Stroker Ace tune, "Three Dimes Down." Cooley's redneck baritone shines throughout this whole album. He somehow inserts the quote, "chicken wing puke" without the song becoming too silly.

The next tune is a Hoodrocker called "The Righteous Path," where Hood attempts to "hold steady" on the righteous path while ratcheting up his 6-string ax about 9 notches.

"I'm Sorry Huston" is a decent Shonna tune.

"Perfect Timing" is another feather in Cooley's cap, of good ole' country songs.

"Daddy Needs a Drink" is a Hood swayer exhibiting Patterson's brutally honest lyrics.

Cooley and his back-pocket hanky continue to highlight Brighter with "Self Destructive Zone" which will tattoo in your brain the catchy line, "dead fat or rich, nobody's left to b*** about the goings on in the self-destructive zones."

The middle of the album somewhat weighs it down with mediocrity with Ocres like "Bob," "Home Field Advantage," and "The Opening Act."

Dr. Adam's Apple resuscitates the album with twangy "Lisa's Birthday" which would make even the most Nashville-est country legend smile.

"That Man I Shot" intros with a devilishly evil guitar riff that seems to cackle at the man that was shot. Although seemingly a protest song, I can't help but find myself wandering through the still-filled backwoods of "Where the Devils Don't Stay."

Shonna's "Purgatory Line" is actually her strongest number, and quite a nice tune, possibly questioning where Hood will go after aforementioned track.

"The Home Front" is a Hood tune that leans more toward indie than alt-country(although it does have a mind gripping steel guitar.)

"Checkout Time in Vegas" is a decent Cooley addition, but aside from "Bob" his weakest on the album.

I have a hard time taking seriously the gut checking track "You and Your Crystal Meth," just kind of weird, I guess. I mean I hate Meth like the next guy but should it really be sung about.

"Goode's Field Road" is pretty good attempt at a Blues Rocker. Not a bad tune.

Stroker does it again with "A Ghost to Most." Intertwined with catchy hooks and snags, "Ghost" is just staple Truckers, and, once again, somehow Cooley makes using the word "britches" in a song okay.

Honestly, "The Monument Valley" could be a good song if Hood did not have this weird, jerky singing style in this tune (hard to describe). Its almost horrid. I am not sure why but it drives me crazy.

In sum, the addition of keys and steel guitars almost have a natural feel in this DBT album. They strayed away from the over-produced Blessing, and delivered a gritty yet cohesive album. Cooley undoubtedly shines on Brighter with his pool-stick-breaking, backroad-riding gems. The 19-track shotgun approach worked for the Truckers Robinhooding the bullseye on about 11 tracks.

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