Album Review: Drive-By Truckers – ‘The Big To-Do’ (Pias)

Word from the mouths of the debauched

For 12 years now, Athens, Georgia’s [b]Drive-By Truckers[/b] have been conjuring up a vivid world in which the swamps are choked with the victims of psychopaths, the local whores are shrinks and booze turns livers into leather. But never have Patterson Hood’s five-piece sounded quite so cranky and furiously righteous as they do on this terrific, ear-splitting sprawl of shit-kicking country boogie. Powered by a three-axe onslaught of shirt-billowing riffs – the sort [b]J Mascis[/b] would give his greying locks for – this is the gnarly, heads-down sound of survival and when they growl [i]“there was damage done but I made it home, woke up on the floor”[/i] (on [b]‘The Fourth Night Of My Drinking’[/b]) it sounds like they know their subject matter well.

[b]Chris Parkin[/b]

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