Drive-By Truckers stare down the end of the world on their new song, “Armageddon’s Back in Town,” the first offering from their upcoming LP, The Unraveling, out January 31st via ATO Records.
“Armageddon’s Back in Town” is a ramshackle rocker, which is described in a statement as a “whirlwind joyride through the whiplash of events we collectively deal with each day.” The song finds co-frontman Patterson Hood grappling with a deluge of confusion, dismay, uncertainty and guilt as he sings, “There’ll be no healing from the art of double dealing/Armageddon’s back in town again.”
The Unraveling follows Drive-By Truckers’ 2016 album, American Band, and was recorded at Sam Philips Recording Service in Memphis with engineer Matt Ross-Spang and longtime DBT producer David Barbe. The album also features guest appearances from the Shins’ Patti King, violinist/string arranger Kyleen King and North Mississippi All-Stars’ Cody Dickinson, who plays electric washboard on “Babies in Cages.”
The three years between American Band and The Unraveling marks the longest gap between new DBT records, and Hood and co-frontman Mike Cooley reportedly suffered periodic bouts of writing block as they tried to figure out how to contend with the chaos surrounding them.
Hood said the band ultimately settled on a approach that was “more heart and less cerebral,” adding, “While a quick glance might imply that we’re picking up where 2016’s American Band left off, the differences are as telling as the similarities. If the last one was a warning shot hinting at a coming storm, this one was written in the wreckage and aftermath. I’ve always said that all of our records are political but I’ve also said that ‘politics is personal.’ With that in mind, this album is especially personal.”
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Drive-By Truckers already have a slew of live shows scheduled for 2020, starting with a trio of gigs in Colorado in January. The band will then perform three shows for their annual HeAthen’s Homecoming at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia, February 13th through 15th, before embarking on a North American run that stretches through March and April and wraps May 2nd with a set at the Shaky Knees festival in Atlanta.
The Unraveling Track List
1. “Rosemary With a Bible and a Gun”
2. “Armageddon’s Back in Town”
3. “Slow Ride Argument”
4. “Thoughts and Prayers”
5. “21st Century USA”
6.” Heroin Again”
7. “Babies in Cages”
8. “Grievance Merchants”
9. “Awaiting Resurrection”