By Pamela Pierce
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Drive By Truckers - The Dirty South
8 out of 10
Proud traditions of southern rock live on in Drive-By Truckers' latest album, The Dirty South.
Listeners who cringe in fear whenever a Lynyrd Skynyrd or Charlie Daniels song begins will want to stay far away from Drive-By Truckers. However, those who know the lyrics to "Sweet Home Alabama" by heart will take pleasure in one of the latest additions to southern rock.
Songs featured on The Dirty South are inspired by the band's home state of Alabama. Wild southern tales and childhood memories are often the subject of Drive-By Truckers' music. This proves most effective on the album's second song, "Tornadoes." Lyrics such as, "Sirens were blowing, clouds spat rain and as the things came through, it sounded like a train," provoke great imagery in the listener's mind.
Dirty South's strongest entry is "The Day John Henry Died." The true spirit of rock can be heard. When the song first comes on, the listener feels the urge to crank up the music and simply enjoy the tune. Any thoughts of poorly crafted lyrics quickly disappear with the instrumental prowess displayed in the song.
The band does have a few things to learn before its next album. Many songs go on for too much jamming, and "Cottonseed" tops out at six minutes, 21 seconds. People may be tempted to switch to a different song before the band's momentum even kicks in. However, those who crave music that can transport them to the gritty south will be pleased with Drive-By Truckers' efforts.