This now their umteenth album, Memphis band, Lucero are up to their old tricks again. On 1372 Overton Park they go the tried and true route of giving their local abode a little representation. With this record, the band continue to push themselves beyond the country-punk roots that often get thrown at the band, forging ahead into just classic American rock.
Sure, you hear Ben Nichols’ voice, and you can tell that the man has been smoking or drinking or screaming for years, or maybe all of the above. It’s a voice with a story, which is precisely why so many fans have attached themselves to this band, not to mention Ben’s role in the Revival Tour (which I love to death). And with a voice that carries such a story with it, you expect the vocals to reach deep and tell a story themself; this is precisely what they do. Most people will probably see the lyrics across this album as a descendent of Springsteen, but those not familiar with the Boss will also see similarities with the more modern Hold Steady.
Even the songwriting recalls both the previously mentioned bands, though it probably leans towards the former more. Take “The Devil and Maggie Chascarillo,” a song that features a full on horn section, creating a huge sound you might not usually associate with a bar band who owes a debt to punk. The great thing about this album is that it’s not trying to being anything particular. It relishes in the fact that the sum of all parts is precisely what the band is offering their audience. Their is no pretentious assocation with a particular genre, nor any desire to do so. It’s just a sprawling record of classic American rock n’ roll; it’s the kind you all know you can love.
Perhaps the best songs come at the slowest moments, when Nichols can pull at your heart strings, and yank that emotion out from your innards. “Goodbye Again” probably says enough for those looking for a heartbreaker in its title alone, but even such a song probably won’t do as much for you as “Mom.” Yes, it’s a song for dudes; you just have to deal with it on this occasion because this song is great.
Whether you find straightforward rock your thing or not, you can’t deny that Lucero has the makings of a group who can go far with their particular style of music. Their fans follow them anywhere, and now that you have a chance to hear the work on 1372 Overton Park, perhaps you’ll be one of those diehard followers.
Download: Lucero – Hey Darling Do You Gamble [MP3]