Dormant for way too long, Atlanta’s Drivin’ N’ Cryin’
is making up for lost time with a set of four EPs spaced out over a year, each
focusing on various musical touchstones throughout their criminally overlooked
career. (Seriously, the world can make the dudes in Collective Soul
millionaires, but pass over their far more talented neighbors in DNC?)
Long before the term alternative country was coined
and before stashing your Hank Williams and Clash vinyls on the same shelf was
common practice, Kevn Kinney and the boys were blending their love for country
and punk rock, turning in three of the best successive albums to come out of
the southeast in the 80’s rivaled only by R.E.M. (Scarred But Smarter, Whisper
Tames the Lion and Mystery Road).
Several of the songs off of this, the second of four
EPs in this musical experiment (the previous Songs From the Laundromat is reviewed here), is the closest DNC
have come to recapturing the
ambition of those first three records.
“Hot Wheels,” “Acceleration” and, to a slightly lesser extent, “Moonshot”
are some of the band’s best songs in over two decades. “Out Here in the Middle
of Nowhere,” featuring punk legend Cheetah Chrome on guitar and backing vocals
is oddly enough the low point of the EP. The powerful closing instrumental
track “Space Eyes” makes up for the gaff though.
From the Garage is next up, so it’ll be interesting
to see if the band peaked too early by releasing Songs About Cars, Space and The Ramones in the middle of their
collection, setting the bar too high.
DOWNLOAD: “Hot Wheels,” “Acceleration” and “Moonshot” -JOHN B. MOORE