American Band is the eleventh studio album by American Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers, released on September 30, on ATO Records. Produced .does and
We smashed out head on Plymouth, our buckled blood cousins the first aliens to cross state lines. Without a history and barely American, our borders gave us a body, helped us define our selves in a wilderness that kept trying to flush us out. There is a narrative to American Band , a mapping of the matter of means: what is the American artifact and how did we get here? Flags are just the beginning. Things fall apart. Guns go off below borders, in churches and in schools; bullets rip kids and army vets scraping out livings teaching college courses. American Band almost lands in oblivion.
A deceptively understated, almost breezy-sounding track at first, the song spends six minutes brutally describing the incidents which led to the rise Black Lives Matter movement, but naming no names. Patterson Hood's cracked, mournful vocal is charged with emotion as he reels off his view of the situation. Every line of the song is painfully insightful and slogan-worthy - "we trust science just as long as it tells us what we wanna hear" - though its most wrenching moment is the hole Hood leaves in the narrative after describing the death of Trayvon Martin, "dead and buried, and laying in the ground with a pocket full of Skittles. To read these comments about "What It Means" would suggest that many DBT fans have simply volunteered to ignore the liberal leanings of the band's lyrics. Yes, they pledge allegiance to Lynyrd Skynyrd, and they come from Alabama, but this is a group who have spent their entire career wrestling with the stereotypes associated with the South, and written countless songs attempting to redress that balance. It's strange to think that the mistaken notion of Drive-By Truckers as beer-swillin', Confederate Flag-wavin' rednecks could be shared by both their harshest detractors and most devoted fans, but It's just that their focus has widened - in a decade where the band's home country has embraced its darkest timeline, the Southern thing don't seem quite so important anymore.
Given the complexity of and animus surrounding these issues, such an admission would hardly seem strange coming from virtually anyone else. By contrast, American Band is concise, laser-focused, and brutally efficient. Hood, on the other hand, takes a more personal approach to the political. But the band displays a new level of clear-eyed purpose and here-and-now urgency on American Band. But Antonoff has proven capable of pushing other female artists into the darkest corners of their respective pop worlds, and he allows Del Rey to explore her most indulgent inclinations here.
Produced by long-time collaborator David Barbe, and recorded in the summer of , it is the first Drive-By Truckers album since 's Pizza Deliverance not to feature cover art by their longtime collaborator Wes Freed. - From their breakthrough album 's Southern Rock Opera onward, the Drive-By Truckers have never shied away from dealing with the political and philosophical divides that come with life in the American South. But as issues of race, violence, and the failings of the electoral process have come to dominate the national conversation in , the Drive-By Truckers have responded with their most explicitly political album to date.
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Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics What's this? Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Ratings. See all 18 Critic Reviews. American Band. User Score. Your Score.
As America sinks into the 21st century, we are a very divided people. The reddest states tend to have one or two metropolitan areas that are pushing progressive change. I now live in one of the most liberal cities in America but I can get into my car and drive twenty minutes in any direction and culturally be back in Alabama. Perhaps we could call this the new? As a band, we have kind of straddled that line in what we do. Although our lyrics and politics have always tilted a ways left of center, our music has been rooted in deep traditions and a well of historic and literary influences. Drive-By Truckers are completing our twentieth year on a high note.