The Mother Truckers

Van Tour (World)

Texas Platters

The Mother Truckers

Van Tour (World)

Filled with sass, shout-along choruses, and rawboned guitar, 2008's Let's All Go to Bed put the Mother Truckers at the head of the class when it comes to Austin country rock. Van Tour follows in a similar vein, only on diminishing returns. Teal Collins and Josh Zee's songwriting lacks Bed's snap, with "Alien Girl" and "Break-Up Sex" slashing and burning, but the intended humor just misses the mark, while the 1950s-style plea "Keep It Simple" ends up being not so simple after all. The Truckers really hit their stride with the disc's last four tunes. "Size of the Sun" and "Concentrate" house Collins and Zee's coziest harmonies, the latter's guitar work on "Summer of Love" fusing Billy Gibbons and Joe Walsh, and the closing title track is just the right combination of goofy wordplay and 90 miles per hour country stomp. Get in the Van? Sure, but we're only riding about half of the way.

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