Album: Drive-By Truckers

Brighter Than Creation's Dark, New West
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The Independent Culture

They're rough and sour as rot-gut whisky, but the Truckers remain your best bet for a hit of true Southern grit. 'Brighter' is up there with their best work, 'Decoration Day' and 'Southern Rock Opera': a balanced programme of scowlingly romantic country-rock with the bits left in, magnificently written in parts – Mike Cooley's songs are torrential – and recorded with a devotion to the "moment" that is virtually unparalleled in the modern studio. True, the rhythm section can be clunky and the referencing of rock's greater days may pall sometimes, but when a heart's this big, all you can do is swallow it whole.

Download this 'Self-Destructive Zones': the Truckers' favourite kind of zone