Drive-By Truckers - English Oceans

A leaner, more focused, take on their country infused rock ’n’ roll.

Label: ATO Records

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Over the past fifteen years Athens, Georgia’s Drive-By Truckers have been one of the most regularly impressive alt. country acts around, delivering a steady steam of very good-to-great releases every other year – with 2006’s ’A Blessing and a Curse’ being the only notable dip in quality. New album ’English Oceans’, their tenth studio album, is a return to their roots; a leaner, more focused, take on their country infused rock ’n’ roll.

Led by Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, Drive-By Truckers has seen a steady revolving group of musicians join and leave the band over the past fifteen years, the only other constant being drummer Brad Morgan. Working without a third songwriter for the first time since 1998 they’ve stripped away the soul influences that carried much of 2011’s ’Go-Go Boots’ in favor of just the basics. On ‘English Oceans’ Cooley takes the lead, penning six out of thirteen tracks as well as providing lead vocals for Hood’s ’Til He’s Dead or Rises’. 

While hardly covering new ground or expanding their sonic palette, ’English Oceans’ is a welcome addition to the Drive-By Truckers discography as well as their best since 2008’s ’Brighter Than Creation’s Dark’. Few bands at the same point of their career can boast that they’re still working on their highest level, and with ’English Oceans’ the band cement themselves as one of the best and consistent alt. country acts of the ’00s - and there’s no sign of them slowing down.