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The Unraveling by Drive-By Truckers: Album Review

If you thought Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley were angry on 2016's excellent "American Band" then wait until you get your ears around their latest album, "The Unraveling". 
Never a band afraid to call it as they see it, you'll have no issues deciding the targets of their ire. "Murmur" this is not.

Easing us in gently with "Rosemary with a Bible and a Gun", they bring the energy with the high octane "Armageddon's Back In Town".  This one rocks hard, and that energy continues when Mike Cooley takes over for the catchy "Slow Ride Argument".
The music may be calmer and even jolly, but the lyrics of "Thoughts and Prayers" are an utterly coruscating assault on the all too typical response of many in power to gun violence. Hear, hear I say. The tragedy is that this song will be appropriate many times every year. 
The political commentary continues with "21st Century USA", the inequality of the American Dream the target this time. Whilst the music is not mournful, by the end of the song you will likely be feeling despondent.

"Babies In Cages" is a reminder of the sleazy groove that DBT do so well, even if the the subject is far from groovy.
The languid and extended "Awaiting Resurrection" serves as both an epilogue and summary of the themes of the album as a whole.

This is not an album to lift the spirits, and whilst I have enjoyed it, it is one I need to be in the mood for. The relentless focus on the problems of,(mainly), America, is understandable if not fun. It still delivers what this band always do: high quality rock and roll that gives it to you straight. They've always addressed duality, the grey areas and the fact that life is never simple, and they continue to do so in the bluntest way possible. 

The shame is many who should hear and take their message to heart, probably never will...

"Stick it up your ass with your useless thoughts and prayers"


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