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English Oceans

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Editors’ Notes

The big buzz on Drive-By Truckers’ 12th album is that Mike Cooley, the band’s secondary writer after Patterson Hood, penned six of the album’s 13 tunes, making English Oceans a dialogue between the two senior members. This friendly conversation/competition only further strengthens a band that’s always considered songwriting of premium importance. Recorded over 13 days at Chase Park Transduction Studios in Athens, Ga., with their longtime producer David Barbe, English Oceans features nasty, grungy guitars (“Pauline Hawkins”), stinging social commentary (Cooley’s “Made Up English Oceans,” Hood’s “The Part of Him”), and a virtual walk through rock ’n’ roll history, with the opening Lynyrd Skynyrd barroom romp “S*** Shots Count” and the chiming Byrds-like “Primer Coat” (or is that R.E.M., considering its Athens roots?). There's a Celtic vibe to “Grand Canyon,” a tribute to Craig Lieske, a longtime member of the band’s road crew who died suddenly and to whom the album is dedicated.

Customer Reviews

This one belongs to the stroker ace!

This is Mike Cooley's strongest and most consistent song writing in years. Not only is this true given he has more songs on this record, but the guitar solos he plays (not just on his songs mind you) are really strong. Usually I like Patterson's stuff (and the part of him, pauline hawkins, and grand canyon are amazing) but some of these feel like left overs from 'Heat Lightning rumbles in the distance'. The song Hanging on is especially unfortunate. Otherwise this is overall a pretty solid album. It dangles right in the middle of country and rock territory, never really going too far into either. Honestly that is their thing, and they deliver on it once again.


This is the best, post Isbell, DBT album. I cannot stop listening to it. I fell in love with these tunes when they debuted at the 40 Watt Homecoming shows last month. The album is much like their live shows in that Hood and Cooley take turns at the microphone. Rock on!

Great Album

Can't stop listening to it. Tracked perfectly and outstanding songwriting! Highly recommend!


Formed: 1996 in Athens, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Boasting a mix of Southern pride, erudite lyrics, and a muscled three-guitar attack, Drive-By Truckers became one of the most well-respected alternative country-rock acts of the 2000s. Led by frontman Patterson Hood and featuring a rotating cast of Georgia and Alabama natives, the band celebrated the South while refusing to paint over its spotty past. History, folklore, politics, and character studies all shared equal space in the Truckers catalog, which offered up its first blast of gutsy, twangy...
Full Bio
English Oceans, Drive-By Truckers
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Customer Ratings