Drive-By Truckers The Big To-Do

Drive-By Truckers The Big To-Do
While the Drive-By Truckers's penchant for constructing albums around grandiose notions of Southern identity has dissipated slightly with their last few releases, The Big To-Do continues their impeccable streak of modern Southern rock classics over the past eight years. Upon first listen, a straightforward approach, both in terms of arrangements and production, gives it a solid punch right off the bat. But what gives The Big To-Do a distinct edge over recent predecessors is how each song is a unique snapshot of Southern life, rather than a piece of a larger overall portrait. That said, the themes remain consistent: drinking, infidelity and other harsh realities of small-town life. Bassist Shonna Tucker adds some new perspective to this with her fine vocals on "You Got Another," but mainly this is singer/guitarist Patterson Hood's album, and tracks like "This Fucking Job" and "After The Scene Dies" are sure to become concert staples. Mike Cooley is more intent on upping his guitar god status, which is on full display when he leads the band through a fine cover of Kiss's "Strutter." With so much individual talent within the band, such a high level of consistency from the DBTs is almost expected, and The Big To-Do delivers on that promise once again. (ATO/Maple)