Decoration Day

Release Date: 
June 17, 2003
Label: 
New West Records
Release Type: 
Album
  1. The Deeper In
  2. Sink Hole
  3. Hell No, I Ain’t Happy
  4. Marry Me
  5. My Sweet Annette
  6. Outfit
  7. Heathens
  8. Sounds Better In A Song
  9. (Something’s Got To) Give Pretty Soon
  10. Your Daddy Hates Me
  11. Careless
  12. When The Pin Hits The Shell
  13. Do It Yourself
  14. Decoration Day
  15. Loaded Gun In The Close

They earned wide acclaim with the double-disc Southern Rock Opera, a sprawling concept album about Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their three-guitar lineup and greasy look signify big, dumb rock in the minds of many, but their songwriting is relentlessly whip-smart. And what may be their greatest song, "The Living Bubba," is an ode to a righteous, hard-rocking redneck felled by AIDS. No, the Drive-By Truckers never do anything by the book, so it's no surprise that with Decoration Day, the band's first release for indie New West Records, Patterson Hood and his mates take another rewarding left turn. The album boasts a handful of crowd-pleasing, party-starting cuts, like the brash, cranky rocker "Hell No, I Ain't Happy" and the Stones ringer "Marry Me." Yet more common are moments of startling beauty (the steel solos on "The Deeper In" and "Loaded Gun in the Closet" and the jangling guitars, rolling melodies, and soulful fiddle breaks of "Heathens" and "My Sweet Annette") and heavy doses of recrimination and regret, as in the back-to-back suicide tunes "When the Pin Hits the Shell" and "Do It Yourself." --Anders Smith Lindall