“Town Burned Down” Is a Searing Triumph

With a personal backstory to boot.

Album Review

Adam’s House Cat
Town Burned Down
ATO

“Town Burned Down” is the great lost Drive-By Truckers album—sort of. The first band of DBT principals Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley recorded their sole album in 1990, only to see it go unreleased at the time. Adam’s House Cat employed a similar approach to the Truckers, delivering a scruffy southern amalgam of old-school rock and roll and punk that suggests a Nirvana-Stones hybrid. Chronicling hard-luck, small-town lives with empathy and dark humor, anguished Hood originals like “Lookout Mountain” and “Cemeteries” are among his best work. After tapes of the album resurfaced a few years ago, Hood re-recorded the vocals, pleading unhappiness with his original efforts, and bringing his usual worried urgency to the mix. The result is a searing triumph, whether you know the backstory or not.

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

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