The Drive-By Truckers Go-Go Boots(ATO / Play it Again, Sam) Buy it from Insound
The Drive-By Truckers continue an unprecedented creative streak with Go-Go Boots, an album of less urgent country ballads that harkens back to band’s Pizza Deliverance days.
What Go-Go Boots lacks in shit-kicking barroom rock and fucking awesome 70s guitar solos (which the band’s 2010 album The Big To-Do had in spades) it makes up for in songwriting. Lead Trucker Patterson Hood is still focused on telling small-town rural crime stories, taking time to craft complete character sketches of village bloodshed on tracks like The Fireplace Poker and Go-Go Boots.
The pair of tracks, along with the dark jam of Used to be a Cop and the pitch-perfect folk-pop of I Do Believe make up the core of the album and find the Truckers reaching back to their country roots. It makes for songs that aren’t as initially visceral, but have the potential to grow into new classics.
The album’s jammed-out feel doesn’t always work to its advantage: tracks like Everybody Needs Love and Mercy Buckets could use a little more focus. The improved country focus, however, yields on of the band’s best songs in Cartoon Gold, a Mike Cooley-penned number steeped in Americana that matches up against the band’s best work.
At its worst, Go-Go Boots comes off sounding like Lynyrd Skynyrd. At its best, it stands as a testament to the unparalleled songwriting of Cooley and Hood and as a reminder of just how special this band can be.30 March, 2011 - 21:09 — Charlie Jebb