Somehow, in the midst of an ongoing record-breaking United States economy, Drive-By Truckers continue to grow even more miserable and infuriated by the day. Patterson Hood, who loves to throw words like “duality” around as if he’s some thoughtful philosophical commentator, moans that he’s spent the last three-and-a-half years “watching so many things we care about being decimated and destroyed all around us.” You mean like ISIS? The exorbitantly high black unemployment rate? Seriously, what the fuck is this guy even talking about? He’s probably not even happy that the Music Modernization Act’s been signed into law, thereby making it easier for him to profit off his painfully verbose Flannery O’Connor wannabe songs, just because it was evil Orange Man that signed it. It would not surprise me if Drive-By Truckers still collectively believe, as do many ignoramuses, that Donald Trump called neo-Nazis and white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia “very fine people,” when the full transcript of his comments that day prove just the opposite. But then, this is a bunch of nimrods that can’t recognize the SPLC for a scam and think “Imagine” is an inspiring song.
So after over three years struggling with writer’s block, Hood, fellow singer-songwriter Mike Cooley and the rest of the Truckers have cobbled together another collection of grievances about “21st Century USA,” out January 31 and ominously titled The Unraveling. “How do you put these day to day things we’re all living through into the form of a song that we (much less anybody else) would ever want to listen to?” Hood further whines. “How do you write about the daily absurdities when you can’t even wrap your head around them in the first place?” Is he referring to the rash of hate crime hoaxes? Piles of human shit on the streets of San Francisco? Machete attacks on Jews in New York? Typhus, rats and piles of trash throughout Los Angeles’ ever-spreading homeless population? The alarming murder rate in Chicago, a city with some of the strictest gun laws in the country? Antifa thugs beating the crap out of people in Portland, where Hood relocated several years ago? No way, José. There is a song on The Unraveling about “Babies in Cages,” though. Somehow I doubt they’re honest enough to admit that the border detention cages were built by the Obama administration. At this point, it’s become a rule of thumb that any Truckers album that doesn’t have cover art by Wes Freed isn’t worth investing in.