Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Brighter Than Creation's Dark

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Brighter Than Creation's Dark

Article excerpt

BRIGHTER THAN CREATION'S DARK Drive-By Truckers (New West, 2008)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

As a thoroughly hip Southern rock band in the 21st century, the Drive-By Truckers are either an oxymoron or a paradox.

Start with their new album title. You might think, "A rock band with a poetic streak." And you're right. But that lofty phrase occurs as a description of Las Vegas at night. Then there's the band name, and the wacky cartoon vulture on the cover. So add a Southern-tried tacky-kitsch esthetic to the mix. But the Truckers aren't ridiculing trailer-park culture either. They sing respectfully of a man "who always had more dogs than he ever had friends."

Spin the disc and the paradox grows deeper. Gentle acoustic ballads rest alongside grand three-guitar thumpers that sound like a collision between Lynyrd Skynyrd, Neil Young's Crazy Horse, and the New York noise band Sonic Youth. Lyrics about the family man who's "trying to stay focused on the righteous path" bump against others about a friend lost to crystal meth. …

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