Drive By Truckers – The Big To-Do Drive By Truckers – The Big To-Do

Drive By Truckers - The Big To-Do

Drive By Truckers - The Big To-Do

In 2001 Drive By Truckers released Southern Rock Opera, an album that I consider one of the finest of the last decade. DBT have a way of putting you in their stories. It’s pure southern rock that makes you want to drink whiskey and do completely self serving things. You start to understand how the road to hell is paved with good intentions. You’re introduced to “the duality of the Southern Thing”.

DBT latest The Big To-Do sounds full, and its production is probably the best of any of their albums. But with that comes a lack of grittiness; DBT were brutes on Southern Rock Opera. Now I’m not comparing these two albums. Released almost ten years apart it would be bullshit for a band not to evolve. Besides Southern Rock Opera was an anomaly in DBT catalog. It was originally planned as a screenplay before it became an album so it intentionally develops like a movie. What I’m talking about is that the piss is missing in the music.

There are tracks on The Big To-Do that still make you want to go on a bender that lasts until you get arrested or disappear. “After the Scene Dies” features some masterful guitar. On the whole the album is more upbeat than anything they’ve put out so far.

Maybe I crave ageist from the Drive By Truckers.

They’ve just become better adjusted. There’s nothing wrong with that I’m told.  I still miss the songs that could make you understand. Understand how everyone in this world has done fucked up things with the intentions of doing good. DBT songs have always been able to seriously shake me, and that just wasn’t there often enough in The Big To-Do.

There are going to be a ton of people who will like this release. It’s very listenable with a bunch of sound and spans a broader spectrum of Southern music than in previous efforts. For those who got into DBT around 2008’s Brighter Than Creation’s Dark this will seem like a natural progression.  However even after listening to it a dozen times I just couldn’t get it to stick. You have to hold bands like DBT to a higher standard.  Here’s to hoping that this chapter in the The Drive By Truckers tale is just build up to the next rock epic.

1.) Daddy Learned To Fly
2.) The Fourth Night of my Drinking
3.) Birthday Boy
4.) Drag The Lake Charles
5.) The Wig He Made Her Wear
6.) You Got Another
7.) This Fucking Job
8.) Get Downtown
9.) After The Scene Dies
10.) (It’s Gonna Be) I Told You So
11.) Santa Fe
12.) The Flying Wallendas
13.) Eyes Like Glue

Drive By Truckers - The Big To-Do , reviewed by Big Ben on 2010-03-02T02:32:48-08:00 rating 3.2 out of 5

4 Responses about “Drive By Truckers – The Big To-Do”

  • mitch martin says:

    It’s very listenable to with a bunch of sound

    This sentence is actually inclueded in this review. I guess this is where music journalism goes to die.

    Also, grammar and spell check may be helpful.

    I must say that I prefer the earlier albums as well. Has the reviewer heard any of them other than SRO?

  • Ben says:

    I’ve been a DBT fan since 2001 and own every one of their releases. Along with several live recordings from Suffice to say I’ll go toe to toe with anyone on the history of the band. We try to keep our reviews concise and I’m not about to go on a diatribe in order to prove that I’ve logged my listening hours.

    The sentence “…bunch of sound” actually ties into the intro when I was talking about the production. I’d be more than happy to use a bunch of bullshit superlatives if it makes you feel better but in the spirit of a band that communicates big messages in few words I’ll opt to stick to my guns.

    If you’d like to bring up specific points to what issues you have with the review than I’ll be more than happy to talk it out with you. Either that or you can see me defend my self on nine-bullets

    Either way this site is where hipster bullshit comes to die, and music can be discussed by fans without an ego.

  • Aaron Prisuta says:

    You can flip right through this cd without a care. I’m an earlier days Trucker fan that feels the band has gone to shit since Isbell left.

  • Madcap says:

    come on guys, what is wrong with you? Had your iPods turned up too loud and damaged your hearing? This is a fabulous album. It may be that some will prefer earlier releases. It doesnt matter because this is the album being reviewed and how anyone can say it is anything but brilliant is a mystery to me. Great loud, very loud guitars, uplifting riffs, great topoical lyrics, and melody! What more do you want? I agree with Uncut magazine. This is a 5 star effort all the way.