Drive-by Truckers
Go-Go Boots


2.5
average

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
February 20th, 2011 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You may as well get out and walk

Athens, Georgia must be a strange and contradictory place. The city is home to the wacky B-52s, the po-faced R.E.M. and Drive-by Truckers, who seem to fall somewhere in between. After 2010’s rock-laden effort The Big To Do, the group have refused to rest on their laurels and have released Go-Go Boots, an album that brings them back into more familiar territory.

In keeping with the country tradition, the songs on Go-Go Boots are hard-luck stories about people on the fringes of life. Folks who are married yet cavort with strippers and mistresses, people in dead end jobs and those who are simply not cut out to live a normal, stress-free existence. As the group’s name suggests, the music carries with it the idea of momentum. Large spaces filled with sparse views and that essence of loneliness, much like a long distance truck drive. However, it’s these large spaces that are the group’s undoing. There simply isn’t enough on this album to fill the gaps. It’s more than evident that they are adept at their art. There’s clean and crisp production, clear and concise vocals and a sense of the continuation of a fine tradition but there is a distinct lack of substance available here. “Ray’s Automatic Weapon”, one of the better songs on the album, is blighted by a pedestrian and repetitive outro which ranks as a disappointment after its promising first half. Here the group sound involved and fully in their stride, aided by soaring guitar and dark piano chords, yet they allow it to descend into something that sounds like it has been tacked on for its own sake. There’s no shame in two-minute songs.

The music peddled by Drive By Truckers is steeped in a fine and rich history and it’s something that is kept alive here. “The Weakest Man” sounds like it was pilfered from Johnny Cash’s bedside table and “Pulaski” is driven by that classic country rhythm, calling to mind the classic image of hoboes riding the rails from town to town. Better still are the vocal contributions of bass player Shonna Tucker who propels the tracks “Dancin’ Ricky” and “Where’s Eddie?” from obscurity to two of the more prominent efforts on the album.

There isn’t an awful lot to get excited about on this album. A majority of the songs keep to the same tempo and elicit little variety. There’s always the threat that the album could break out into something with more verve, more energy but ultimately this potential is never realised. There are also frequent moments of stale indulgence. Some of the songs are unjustifiably long. “Used To Be A Cop” and “The Fireplace Poker” clock in at 7:06 and 8:17 respectively with very little in the way of memorable moments. The album’s title track, at a more manageable 5:38, is still overlong and as a whole these songs could have benefited from some editing. Music like this has its place and a defined audience but it appears doubtful that Go-Go Boots will bring in more fans or give the group further prominence.



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user ratings (20)
Chart.
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
February 20th 2011


15973 Comments


Excellent review.

Tyrael
February 20th 2011


20946 Comments


Sup Jviney. Nice review as always.

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Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2011


7318 Comments


Sorry to be the dissenting voice here, but I've honestly seen you write much better JViney. I feel like this review never really gets anywhere, and is a bit haphazardly structured. That being said, it does it's job though - I'm staying the hell away from this release ahahaha.

Digging: Portishead - Dummy

kanecooper
February 20th 2011


630 Comments


release date needs changing to 2011 if i'm not mistaken which, of course, i'm not

JViney
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2011


322 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Ah, my nemesis returns! Nah, seriously, it was difficult to get into the album to begin with. If the lack of aural enthusiasm is evident in the writing, then so be it.

JViney
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2011


322 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Right you are, kanecooper. Edit on its way asap.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2011


7318 Comments


Ah, my nemesis returns! Nah, seriously, it was difficult to get into the album to begin with. If the lack of aural enthusiasm is evident in the writing, then so be it.

That's fair =) Don't get me wrong JViney - I still think this review is ridiculously solid, but your Adele (this one in particular) and Motorhead write-ups had a better flow to it. This one was - to those two - relatively pedantic. If I may be so bold to suggest it, do take a gander at BigHans' reviews for Bon Jovi's The Circle and Springsteen's Born To Run (I think). He goes for the same imagery that I think you're trying to create here, but is more successful.

My apologies for crashing on you like this JViney.

And okay now I'm starting to feel bad now for being so harsh =(

JViney
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2011


322 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nah man, it wasn't a harsh critique. You shouldn't worry about it. I do enjoy your comments on my own and other reviews. It's nice to see some measured comments now and again. Feel free to say whatever you like whenever you like. I understand how and why you came to that conclusion. I'll check out those reviews you mentioned too.

JViney
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2011


322 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

As it stands, I have two reviews ready to go up in the next couple of days. Treat it like a Fall album, if you don't like the current one then another, completely different one will be along very swiftly!

Irving
Staff Reviewer
February 20th 2011


7318 Comments


As it stands, I have two reviews ready to go up in the next couple of days. Treat it like a Fall album, if you don't like the current one then another, completely different one will be along very swiftly!

Haha! Don't sell yourself short man! You're a fine writer, seriously.

And for what it's worth, your temperament is quickly turning you into my favourite Staff member =)

mallen-
February 20th 2011


1235 Comments


Great review, I downloaded this recently but haven't gotten around to listening yet. Haven't heard good things regardless.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 20th 2011


23976 Comments


JViney, tell the other outside hires to get to fucking work. Monica and that Andy guy haven't done shit all.

Digging: Marketa Irglova - Muna

kanecooper
February 21st 2011


630 Comments


time? there is no time. what time?

BigHans
February 21st 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Was gonna review this but now I don't have to, which is good because this album is massively dissapointing.

Anyone wanting to get into the Truckers, listen to Southern Rock Opera, Dirty South, and Decoration Day. All of those rule.

CitySickness
February 21st 2011


17 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album. But not as good as The Dirty South.

newjunkaesthetic93
February 22nd 2011


1871 Comments


I was in Minnesota around christmas and there was this station that was playing "Used TO Be A Cop" like 7 times an hour

Tyrael
February 23rd 2011


20946 Comments


I just got my Q and they said this was a fantastic album... I guess I'll be checking this one out then.

kanecooper
February 23rd 2011


630 Comments


lol Q sucks

BigHans
February 23rd 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I implore anyone who has never heard this band before to not listen to this album, because of the 9 they have put out, this is the 7th best, tops.

thebhoy
Emeritus
February 26th 2011


4461 Comments


I've never been able to get into this band, I mean, they're good at what they do, but what they do just doesn't appeal to me.



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