The album opens with a song called “Death of the Life of the Party”, and since You Can’t Live This Way is a posthumous album for Drag, the song seems appropriate in that opening position. Though, I keep finding myself wondering if this really is a posthumous record. I mean, the album comes out after the band calls it quits, and they are about to embark on a mini-tour in support of the album, and it all just seems a little soon to be considered a reunion. The whole DTR split thing seemed a little odd to me, and since I am pretty new to the Drag bandwagon I’m hoping that their death announcement was premature.
Regardless of what is going on with the band, though, the fact is that they have a new album in stores tomorrow and if it really is their final release, it’s a fucking shame. Passing on the ‘almost all drinking songs’ formula, You Can’t Live This Way is easily the most mature effort of their catalog. It seems like the guys were/are finally beginning to fully realize themselves as songwriters and as a band, and to cut that short is a pity. Featuring the classic cowpunk/country sound fans have grown to love, some are gonna say this is their best effort yet, while others will argue that It’s Crazy is a little better. I agree with both, depending on my mood, but I will say You Can’t Live This Way hits me in the exact same way The Fox Hunt’s (favorite album of last year) cd did the first few times I heard it, so it obviously gets to share the driver’s seat on the 2008 Essential Listening list with Left Lane Cruiser.