Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ken's Top 10 of 2016 - #4: Drive-By Truckers - American Band

My obsession with Drive-By Truckers has been going pretty strong for 15 years now, ever since the release of Southern Rock Opera. In my own opinion, they haven't released a bad album in that time. Even a mediocre Drive-By Truckers album is still pretty great. Their latest release, American Band, is my favorite release of theirs since 2004's The Dirty South. Their albums tend to be a mixture of serious, darker songs along with some that border on novelty, with some thinly veiled politics mixed throughout. American Band drops the thin veil and sense of humor and is their most overtly political and serious album yet. Mike Cooley claimed that he "... wanted to piss off the assholes," and with songs about getting rid of the Confederate flag ("Surrender Under Protest"), Black Lives Matter and police shootings ("What It Means"), and the sex lives of conservative Christians ("Kinky Hypocrite"), it's safe to say they may have accomplished their goal. In a year when members of Rage Against the Machine teamed with Chuck D of Public Enemy in a nostalgia based cash grab disguised as an attempt to Fight the Power, American Band was a welcome reflection of protest and anger.

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