Drive By Truckers: English Oceans (ATO)

 |   |  <1 min read

Drive By Truckers: When Walter Went Crazy
Drive By Truckers: English Oceans (ATO)

After albums which redefined Southern rock – notably Southern Rock Opera, Decoration Day and Brighter Than Creation's Dark – the Truckers lost their way a little.

Perhaps the departure of songwriter Jason Isbell (playing solo at Auckland's Tuning Fork, April 12) before Creation's Dark in 08 or the distraction of other projects diluted their winning formula of hard-times stories coupled to rock and alt.country.

While this album goes some way to confirm their reputation as one of the great American bands of the past decade, it still comes up short.

They kick off in fine rambunctious style with Shit Shots Count (channeling the Stones' Exile-era), the gritty melancholy of When He's Gone and the guitar jangle of Primer Coat, but elsewhere revert to well-traveled paths and it's hard to get excited by the mid-tempo plod of Pauline Hawkins and The Part of Him.

With a division of songwriting now between founders Patterson Hood (on top form with the acoustic Hanging On narrative) and Mike Cooley, the Truckers tell tough, heartfelt stories and offer lyrics to decode (Cooley's Made Up English Oceans reads like images thrown into a tumbler).

But often the marriage to music on this, their 11th studio album -- doesn't quite elevate them.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent international releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up releases by international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column... > Read more

Charlie Rich: Too Many Teardrops; The Complete Groove and RCA Recordings (Ace/Border)

Charlie Rich: Too Many Teardrops; The Complete Groove and RCA Recordings (Ace/Border)

In a famous interview in San Francisco in December '65, Bob Dylan was earnestly asked about his favourite poets. He was in a playful mood and mentioned his genuine favourites Rimbaud his pal... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . CARL T SPRAGUE: At home on the range in the Eighteen Seventies

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . CARL T SPRAGUE: At home on the range in the Eighteen Seventies

Some musicians are so close to the source they are almost part of it. The young Rolling Stones -- despite their cultural, emotional and physical distance from American blues – heard... > Read more

BOB DYLAN, ON FILM: Acting on the margins

BOB DYLAN, ON FILM: Acting on the margins

Somebody at the University of Applied Narcotics in San Francisco has probably written a thesis about Bob Dylan's bizarre film career. Like Neil Young, Dylan appears in movies which make little... > Read more