They used to make languid, boozy epic albums that lasted for days; now Drive-By Truckers make compact, snub-nosed records where no notes are wasted – and in 2020 they made two of them.
The New OK is a bookend along with The Unravelling (and, in proper rock tradition, even includes a song called The Unravelling), and shares that album’s anger at the recent political situation on the likes of the title track and Watching The Orange Clouds.
But while The Unravelling was informed by despair, on The New OK the anger sounds more focused and fight has returned. There’s even room for a gorgeous Stax Records homage (Sea Island Lonely, with its Otis Redding horn lift) and, most unexpected and welcome, a soundalike cover of the Ramones’ The KKK Took My Baby Away.
A fantastic rocket of a record, which adds to the renaissance brilliance of 21st-century Truckers.