Wheels On Fire

Confederate quintet follow last year's Decoration Day with strapping sixth LP

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Three years on from double album Southern Rock Opera?sniping at outsider stereotypes of the South’s culture via the legacy of Lynyrd Skynyrd?Drive-By Truckers are back in familiar territory. Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to be exact. It’s where lead Trucker Patterson Hood grew up and where his dad David, as part of FAME Studio’s own Wrecking Crew, played on classics by The Staple Singers, Wilson Pickett and Aretha.

Bottling any residual gold-dust is only part of it, though, for the key to this signal band lies neither in time nor place. For them, the South is a state of mind. This record is about identity and resolve in the face of wretched fate. Awash with folklore, there’s a rare sensibility in the songs of Hood, Mike Cooley and Jason Isbell that’s gripped by mortality as much as myth.

Classic rock it may be, a three-way guitar lockdown (


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