After a dozen years and almost as many records, you pretty much know what you’re getting with the Drive-By Truckers by now. And there’s lots of familiar scorching guitars and simmering rage on their latest album, The Big To-Do. The solid and sturdy Truckers plug in and tear through a set of songs that look at our dazed nation through the muddy ditches and sweltering factories they’ve gazed from so many times before. The CD’s best tracks (“Daddy Learned to Fly” and “This Fucking Job,” especially) connect the full-band stomp & roll that drove 2008’s Brighter Than Creation’s Dark to more conventional noise here. Elsewhere, the band explores love as outsiders looking in, like on bassist Shonna Tucker’s two-minute pop song “(It’s Gonna Be) I Told You So,” which sounds like little else in the Truckers’ catalog and is a welcome addition to their boys’ club noise. Still, the durable Patterson Hood cuts to the heart of this cross-country road trip with his Alabama twang and tales of losers pining for one more, and possibly last, chance at happiness. Drive-By Truckers, with Henry Clay People, play Musica in Akron at 8 p.m.. Tickets: $20. —Michael Gallucci
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