Drive-By Truckers - The Big To-Do
You can always count on Drive-By Truckers for: a) great southern rock based tracks; and b) engrossing narratives about down and out characters. Thankfully neither of those things changes on The Big To-Do, the forthcoming album from the band (out March 16th).
There are no shortage of gritty rockers on the record. "This Fucking Job" and "After the Scene Dies" are vintage DBT southern rock. The country influence sneaks in too with the twangy "Santa Fe" and the classic country of "Get Downtown". The album opener, "Daddy Learned To Fly", surprises with a deftly performed classic rock guitar solo.
One of the differences this time around is the increased prominence of Shonna Tucker. She does a stellar job assuming lead vocal duties on the sprawling weeper "You Got Another" and the catchy "(It's Gonna Be) I Told You So". Her contribution helps make those songs two of the album's standouts.
Like any DBT album though, it's the shady characters and their stories who steal the show. From tales of extended drinking binges ("The Fourth Night of My Drinking") to strippers ("Birthday Boy") to murder fueled by religion and sexual fetish ("The Wig He Made Her Wear"), Patterson Hood seems to only be getting better at weaving a twisted tale.
The Big To-Do is an enjoyable and highly accessible album from a band who have nothing left to prove in their scene. Long-time fans will be thrilled. And who knows, maybe they'll even earn some new ones.
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