English Oceans - ATO
FILTER Grade: 84%
By Adam Pollock on March 12, 2014
In the 15-plus years of perfecting their unique brand of somewhere-between-REM-and-Lynyrd-Skynryd urban-hillbilly-alterna-rock, Drive-By Truckers have never made an album that sounds as good as English Oceans. The geetars are as crisp as 100-dollar bills, vocals more in-your- face than a protester at the height of a rally; it’s a resounding success, at least from an artistic standpoint. The new album came together quickly, apparently, with dual singers/tunesmiths Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley sharing writing chores equally. The result: an extremely even, focused and pleasurable listen. The typical Drive-By stories still abound—those of drunken family members; bored, mad, and indifferent lovers; ...Southernness—and are presented with a stone-y swagger that is always easy on the ears. Fans will be raising their flags—rainbow, freak, stars and stripes or otherwise—in celebration.