The truckers’ ruckus

The truckers’ ruckus

Yes,they tell stories too,although in a slightly different way.

Go Go Boots

Drive-By Truckers

ATO Records

rating: ***1/2

If Stephen King considers himself the ultimate authority on small-town evil,he might be in for competition from the Drive-By Truckers and their latest album,Go Go Boots. Yes,they tell stories too,although in a slightly different way.

Coming close on the heels of The Big To Do in 2010,this new album by the Georgia-based rock band chooses to operate on a slower tempo,flirting with genres as varied as psychedelic,alternative and country. The tone of the lyrics,nevertheless,remains the same as the time when the Truckers made their first stop — dark,pessimistic and especially merciless on the collared ones.

However,for all that the album becomes as it goes on,Go Go Boots finds its beginning in a simple,if not childish,song called I do believe. It is only when things get grittier in the following song,the eponymous title track,that you catch a glimpse of the momentous transitions the album is fated to undergo. The three-second gap between the two tracks is all it takes for the Truckers to transport you from Sesame Street to an outlaw town where the local preacher’s son has decided to sully his hands with crime. The music,for its part,turns into something that could easily pass off for stuff from a post-Waters Pink Floyd jamming session.


Then on,the album jumps from one dark tale to another,the song line-up punctuated only on stray occasions by tunes like Where’s Eddie,Dancing Ricky and Cartoon gold,which graze the Truckers’ Alabamian roots. Notable mentions in the album are The fireplace poker,which tells the story of a clergyman who hires a couple of low-lives to kill his wife,and Ray’s automatic weapon,where a half-crazed Vietnam veteran begs for his gun to be taken away because “these things I’ve been shooting are getting all too real”.

Though Go Go Boots is by no means a bad album,it is not something you could bet your life on either. Interesting as their lyrics are,the Truckers would probably do better if they found a genre to stick to. It’s sad but true — Dolly Parton and David Gilmour don’t belong in the same ballpark.