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American Band Image
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

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  • Summary: The 11th full-length release for the Southern rock band formed by Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood features songs about such topics as immigration, gun violence, politics, and race.
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  • Record Label: ATO
  • Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Hard Rock, Alternative Country-Rock, Southern Rock
  • More Details and Credits »

Top Track

Guns of Umpqua
I see birds soaring through the clouds outside my window Smell the fresh paint of a comfort shade on this new fall day Feel the coffee surge through... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. Oct 5, 2016
    100
    They have both found, on their eleventh album (and best since the early 2000s), a renewed purpose and direction in this time of existential crisis for America.
  2. 90
    The USA in the year of Trump, though, has inspired Drive-By Truckers to make this lacerating denunciation of the state of their nation, which stands right up there with Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball and their own best work.
  3. Magnet
    Oct 18, 2016
    90
    A brave, provocative and thoughtful addition to the Tuckers' canon. [No. 136, p.51]
  4. Mojo
    Sep 27, 2016
    80
    This is a protest album and a damn good one. [Nov 2016, p.93]
  5. Nov 7, 2016
    80
    For being so politically and socially charged, American Band is not a divisive album.
  6. Sep 29, 2016
    80
    American Band is an op-ed column with guitars, and it presents a message well worth hearing, both as politics and as music.
  7. Nov 4, 2016
    70
    American Band won’t transform our American landscape; good country music can’t heal a national soul. But an art of humanity and a faith in being better to each other can help redefine America.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Oct 6, 2016
    10
    This album needed to be made for the state of the country. Artists have the best vehicle to discuss modern society. The Drive By TruckersThis album needed to be made for the state of the country. Artists have the best vehicle to discuss modern society. The Drive By Truckers have always written brilliant lyrics and had an almost college professor like way of storytelling. For those "fans" who are offended by this album they were poser fans to begin with who thought it was hip to say they liked this band. They clearly didn't know that the band they liked was 100% liberal in an almost punk rock sense. I will say English Oceans and now this one have both shown the dominance in songwriting by both Cooley and Hood but also expanded their sound. The use of Jay Gonzalez and his keys throughout American Band is truly what makes me love this band. He is such a talented artist. The songs like "Ramon Casiano" about NRA, "Once They Banned Imagine" clear channel wanting to band songs after 911, "Surrender Under Protest" and "Darkened Flags On the Cusp of Dawn" about confederate flags flying at capitol buildings, "What It Means" about police shootings, "Guns of Umpqua" about a school shooting, these songs couldn't be more real and relevant to the world around all of us. There is no better band for the every day american than DBT. Over my 10-12 years as a diehard fan I've seen them many times live and even met them. This band is the absolute best at everything they do. For them to make an album like American Band 20 years in the game is unheard of by almost any other band. They are just getting started in my eyes. My favorite song is "Filthy and Fried" no one tells a story like Mike Cooley and the wordplay on this one makes it one of his best ever. As Patterson Hood stated when they made this album they are not trying to be everyone's favorite band. That proves it is about the art and the message for them. They made a monumental statement here with this one and this should be 2016's album of the year. Its that good. Too bad E-Diddy Shrimp isn't down with this band. Expand
  2. Sep 30, 2016
    9
    For years DBT have been singing about the Southern Thing in ways that help outsiders understand the complexities of South, but also in waysFor years DBT have been singing about the Southern Thing in ways that help outsiders understand the complexities of South, but also in ways the universally transcend any one region. DBT's progressive leanings have always been somewhat apparent, but with American Band, they drop all pretenses, and tell us clearly where they're coming from. DBT had a formula for 20-years that wasn't broke, and a shot in the arm wasn't needed, making this left-hand turn even a little more striking. Just as striking is how Mike Cooley has slowly emerged from just a couple songs per album, to the same number as Patterson Hood, to having the lion’s share of the better songs on the album. Expand
  3. Oct 15, 2016
    8
    It's a solid Truckers album, better than some of the more recent releases, but not as good as the best of the band. For the most part theIt's a solid Truckers album, better than some of the more recent releases, but not as good as the best of the band. For the most part the Cooley songs outshine Patterson Hood's songs. Lyrically Patterson was always good with providing details to his songs, of things we didn't know, but now, since he's dealing with well-known events, I feel like he's over explaining to some degree. Musically, its a strong album, with the catchy and sometimes hard-rocking melodies you'd expect from the band. Expand
  4. Oct 3, 2016
    6
    The Drive-By Truckers are one of my top 3 all time favorite bands - not just for the content of their songs, but also their melodies and howThe Drive-By Truckers are one of my top 3 all time favorite bands - not just for the content of their songs, but also their melodies and how hard they rock. That's why I need to be honest about this records. It simply wasn't that good musicially. Ideologically? Yes, absolutely. Hood and Cooley can write a damn fine song, and they're always pretty poignant and clever. But on this album they get... a little preachier than usual? But I honestly don't mind that - I love lots of melodramatic and preachy music. The main problem that keeps me from liking this album very much is that the music simply isn't there. It's not very good, is all. The melodies aren't really there like they used to be.

    They really need to bring in someone like an Isbell to be the melodic counterpoint to Cooley's clever lyricism and rockin' guitar, as much as there needs to be someone to counter Hood's indie sentimentality and muted melodies.

    That being said, I think there's room for someone to come out with an incredible border-crossing, race-politically savvy masterpiece of a rebel rock album. They got that spot on, and I love Hood's indie-folk songs as much as anybody. Here's to the DBT!
    Expand
  5. Nov 4, 2016
    5
    This gets a half score from me because this is a half good album, only half the songs I would even consider listening to again (I feel likeThis gets a half score from me because this is a half good album, only half the songs I would even consider listening to again (I feel like anything between the opener and 'Ever South' you could skip to it's benefit) and I feel my money was wasted.

    And it's not about the politics, the politics are fine and I certainly agree with them but that does not make the songs any better. 'Sun don't Shine' in particular felt like a complete waste of three minutes.

    What annoys me the most is all the stunning reviews only seem to focus on how good and how much they agree with the politics and I don't feel a music reviewer should do that. They should tell me if the music was good, and I feel betrayed by a lot of reviewers on this one.

    Get 'The Dirty South' instead, it's kosher AND plays a lot better than this one.
    Expand

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