Saturday, March 05, 2011
Drive-By Truckers -- Go-Go Boots
There ain't many things better than sitting out on your front porch late in the day and keeping good company. If you don't got a front porch to sit on, you should probably just listen to this album. It's pretty much the aural equivalent.
I know I just used "ain't" and "don't got" in the same paragraph as "aural equivalent," but this contrast, part of what Drive-By Truckers have referred to in the past as the "duality of the Southern Thing," best sums up the band in a nutshell.
This entire album is a study in contrasts. While the music offers a far more laid-back rock and country sound than a lot of their previous work, some of the lyrical themes are the most intense the Truckers have ever touched upon. There are not one, but two songs featuring philandering, wife-murdering preachers, one with an open-ending, one ending on a note of divine justice. Songs also feature edgy ex-cops and war vets, but Go-Go Boots also features some of DBT's most beautiful tracks yet. The speaker in"The Thanksgiving Filter" has plenty of gratitude for family, but even more for distance from them. "Pulaski," the most country-flavored cut, tells the story of a small-town girl whose big dreams take her to California, but ends ambiguously--does the line of cars rumbling down main street in her home town represent a parade or a funeral? It doesn't matter--the beauty in the sadness of missing a home you took for granted is enough to carry the song.
Book-ending and bisecting these tales are the most celebratory tracks the Truckers have ever put to tape. "I Do Believe" praises time with a loved-one lost, "Everybody Needs Love", an Eddie Hinton cover, is explained in the title, and "Mercy Buckets" promises to help out a friend no matter the circumstance. This lyrical variety makes this the Truckers most well-rounded album to date.
I tried to avoid buzz-words in this review. I think this band just gets cursory praise from every major publication because a first listen shows they are good, but this album deserves to be dissected. Music has become more of a passing thing in the last few years, something you put on and force yourself to get through before you jump to the next. This is an album that sticks with you if you grab onto it, a late afternoon on the front porch you never want to end.
LAZY COMPARISON: Sounds like The Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynyrd and all those bands reviewers lump Drive-By Truckers with instead of taking the time to realize they are dealing with an absolute original, absolutely on par with the two previously-mentioned bands.
1. I Do Believe 3:31
2. Go-Go Boots 5:36
3. Dancin' Ricky 3:26
4. Cartoon Gold 3:13
5. Ray's Automatic Weapon 4:25
6. Everybody Needs Love 4:35
7. Assholes 4:39
8. The Weakest Man 3:19
9. Used to Be a Cop 7:03
10. The Fireplace Poker 8:14
11. Where's Eddie 3:01
12. The Thanksgiving Filter 5:34
13. Pulaski 4:24
14. Mercy Buckets 5:24