Sunday, March 14, 2010

16. “Let There Be Rock” by Drive By Truckers (2001)

“Dropped acid, Blue Oyster Cult concert, fourteen years old, and I thought them lasers were a spider chasing me. On my way home, got pulled over in Rogersville Alabama, with a half-ounce of weed and a case of Sterling Big Mouth. My buddy Gene was driving, he just barely turned sixteen.

The Truckers have quietly become one of the best pure rock bands around and it’s almost incredible how one band can be so underrated simply due to the silly band name and the absurd cartoon cover art on their LPs. Even with a strong recommendation from friends back in 2001 or so, I bought Southern Rock Opera with much apprehension, simply because the cover art looks one notch above that of a college rock band from Western Michigan. On top of that, their first two albums were incredibly named Pizza Deliverance and Gangstability, essentially assuring the fact that it will be tough for anyone outside of Kalamazoo to take them very seriously. This is a shame, because not only do the Truckers absolutely kill it with their southern rock attack, but they are outstanding craftsmen and great songwriters. Check out “Carl Perkin’s Cadillac” or "Uncle Frank” if you are unsure of this.

I’ve only seen them live on TV (“Austin City Limits”) but reports from the street claim the following: (1) it is a four-dudes-on-the-edge-of-the-stage-three-guitar-one-bass-southern rock assault of the senses -- sick, heavy, Jack Daniels-soaked southern rock; (2) the volumes at one show at The Bowery in 2002 were so extreme that a number of my friends had to spend the night in the basement bar debating the validity of the Society of Friends (that’s right, Quakers); (3) at the same show, Craig Finn of the Hold Steady was so inspired that he went out and formed The Hold Steady. What does this mean? Our friends are losers but the Drive By Truckers are awesome.

And I'd like to say, "I'm sorry", but we lived to tell about it, and we lived to do a whole lot more crazy, stupid, shit. And I never saw Lynyrd Skynyrd but I sure saw Molly Hatchet With 38 Special and the Johnny Van Zant Band.”

If you like to rock, The Truckers hook it up all over the place, but you can start with “The Righteous Path” or, better yet, go to one of the best songs released this decade,“Let There Be Rock”.

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