Drive-By Truckers - American Band album review

Southern rockers smash a home run.

Drive-By Truckers American Band album cover

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The old idea that rock music could change the world isn’t spoken about much these days. The USA in the year of Trump, though, has inspired Drive-By Truckers to make this lacerating denunciation of the state of their nation, which stands right up there with Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball and their own best work.

Patterson Hood and Troy Cooley sound like they’ve finally had enough of this shit. What It Means is a gravel-voiced cry of outrage from Hood as he parts fogs of ignorance to confront racist shootings: ‘I mean Obama won, and you can choose where to eat/But you don’t see that many white kids lying bleedin’ in the street.

Cooley’s Once They Banned Imagine also finds America stumbling back to battles believed won in the 60s. This rousing broadside ends with Baggage’s account of depression, and Hood finally letting himself get lost in his band’s healing guitars.

Nick Hasted

Nick Hasted writes about film, music, books and comics for Classic Rock, The Independent, Uncut, Jazzwise and The Arts Desk. He has published three books: The Dark Story of Eminem (2002), You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks (2011), and Jack White: How He Built An Empire From The Blues (2016).