Drive-By Truckers A Blessing and a Curse

Drive-By Truckers A Blessing and a Curse
Those Alabama boys who seethe with a fiery brand of Southern rock’n’roll return with their seventh disc — each of which gets progressively better than the last. And, all of which bares no bones in uncovering the skeletons of Southern culture, the redneck lifestyle and the underbelly of America that few like to talk about. Best enjoyed with some Makers Mark and listened to louder than loud, the DBT’s latest recording is another whirlwind of garage, guitar-driven rock with songs that make you stop in your tracks and beg you to listen to the life lessons of the band’s three principal songwriters: Patterson Hood, Jason Isbell and Mike Cooley. Opening with the Hood-penned, tongue-in-cheek "Feb 14” that speaks of a Valentine’s Day gone awry with "flowers flying ’cross the room,” the band waste no time in hitting the right notes. The highlight is "Aftermath USA” — a song that speaks of a gruesome scene of a night forgotten gone gory with "blood spattered in the sink” and "crystal meth in the bathtub,” but the Truckers deliver it in a spirited song that mocks this morning after hyperbole. Suicide is a theme the band have returned to throughout their songs and here they leave the listener with the bad-ass ballad "World of Hurt,” which shows these Southern songsmiths are capable of more soft and serious songs as well. Overall, A Blessing and a Curse confirms what we’ve known since the sonic sounds of 2003’s Decoration Day — this is one of the best rock’n’roll bands recording today. (New West)