Drag the River - You Can't Live This Way (Cover Artwork)

Drag the River

Drag the River: You Can't Live This WayYou Can't Live This Way (2008)
Suburban Home Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: MN_punkmaster-skamanMN_punkmaster-skaman
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In 2007, Drag the River had an infamous "fall out" at the beginning of the year. At the end of the year, an album was slated for a 2008 release. You Can't Live This Way is the aforementioned album. The band began playing shows again. Perhaps there will be more from the band in 2009, but who really k.
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In 2007, Drag the River had an infamous "fall out" at the beginning of the year. At the end of the year, an album was slated for a 2008 release. You Can't Live This Way is the aforementioned album. The band began playing shows again. Perhaps there will be more from the band in 2009, but who really knows. If this is truly the final year of the band being together, You Can't Live This Way is their swan song, and a great one at that.

As far as followup albums go, this is a pretty good followup to 2006's It's Crazy., which is still my favorite album from them. You Can't Live This Way has an excellent combination of different musical styles, and it also comes with smooth transitions from one song to another. There are heartfelt ballads ("Tobacco Fields"), straightforward rockers ("Br00tal"), country-western swinging ("Lost Angel Saloon")...even horn sections are used in the first two songs. There is, of course, the last track that really is just the entire album played all over again (even with alternative takes on songs). This is a trick that Drag the River has done with their albums before.

Chad Price and Jon Snodgrass, the two frontmen of the band, do an excellent job of songwriting, lyrics and arrangements on this album. Price's "Tobacco Fields" is one of the most heartfelt songs in their catalogue. It has the same in delivery and impact on me, as did Gram Parsons' "Hickory Wind." "Tobacco Fields" is just one of the great songs on this album. I truly don't think there is a weak point of the album (but maybe the all-too-short "Pre-Post Party").

This is definitely in my top five of the year. Hopefully this is not the last we hear from these guys.


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The album doesn't have a title or a release date yet, but you can follow the writing and recording process through the members' individual Twitter accounts. Comeau, Bouvier and Lefebvre are all tweeting about the record.

misterspike (June 14, 2009)

I dragged my feet (as opposed to The River) to check these guys out. My incessant playing of their cover of "Portland" on the Mats' trbute We'll Inherit The Earth finally got me off my ass.

Goddam have I been missing out. Halfway into the first song, "Death of The Life Of The Party" and I was hooked. Great record. I feel foolish for having ignored them for so long ...

rob_rob (December 19, 2008)

i dare you to find a song more heartbreaking than "Caleb's Grave".

chris3432453 (December 17, 2008)

hopefully they tour again

Cos (December 17, 2008)

I fucking love this band. Even if all they really do is write similar sounding songs over and over again, I keep buying their albums. I have 5 now, one is a double disc. They all sound EXACTLY the same and they're all fucking great. I dunno--they're like the Ramones of alt. country. Don't break up guys--just keep swilling whiskey and playing Orange County on Valentines Day!

nocigar (December 17, 2008)

This album is fantastic. Agree on the comment below on "Tobacco Fields". Drag The River rock.

LinoleumMagazine (December 17, 2008)

Everyone make sure you click the star rating thingy so it get's rated. The stars on the comment don't count. oi!

10-4Eleanor (December 17, 2008)

Drag The River!!!!

DarrenMcLeod (December 17, 2008)

Just a great, great record.

baseball (December 17, 2008)

One of my favorite albums of the year. It's grown to be my favorite DTR release. Love Chad's songs on here. "Tobacco Fields" is one of the best in their catalogue.

jonnyrawker (December 17, 2008)

Definately one of my fave albums of 2008. I've got a pretty big boner for these guys.

LinoleumMagazine (December 17, 2008)

Tabacco Fields is also one of my favorites on this record. Such an amazing record and they put on one of the best live shows (even when it's just Jon and Chad). Please don't ever stop making music guys.

party-animal (December 17, 2008)

This album is awesome. They've had quite a few "last shows" in the last year or so. I'm lucky I live in Ft. Collins and get to see Chad and Jon play the bars all the time. The whole album repeating on the last track is totally a juke box thing, quite clever.

mattramone (December 17, 2008)

This album is great.

danperrone (December 17, 2008)

i like it's crazy better

TEF (December 17, 2008)

Read some of the positive hype this was getting by fellow orgers, decided to check it out, and was pleasantly surprised. Not bad at all.

xshoutoutx (December 17, 2008)

foco's finest

xIxKilledxJesusx (December 17, 2008)

fairly good band but i just want another armchair martian and ALL record

notfeelingcreative (December 17, 2008)

I've been listening to nothing but music from the all/descendents family tree for the past five days, needless to say this album has been getting a lot of play from me!

yousurewearpantsalot (December 16, 2008)

Fantastic record. Love these guys

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