Their fifth studio album and finest to date; an artistic and commercial step forward for the Memphis band. David Lowery's production brings sharpness and focus to Lucero's sound and "I Can Get Us Out Of Here" is the legitimate radio single that the band has always hinted at. Legendary Memphis session player and recent Cat Power sideman Rick Steff contributes piano and organ throughout, adding a shimmering sonic wrapping to Lucero's hardest rocking and most tuneful album to date. The lead track evokes the spirit of vintage Springsteen while another recalls Wilco's Summerteeth-era into power pop and vintage synthesizers. Other tracks showcase singer Ben Nichols' southern gothic fatalism. It's the single however, that pulls all these elements together into a catchy, visceral rock song.
Torn and frayed, the voice of Lucero singer Ben Nichols epitomizes a band that spends half it's time on the highway driving to the next gig. But judging by the fun the Memphis four-piece appears to be having on its fifth album, that road may go on forever. Produced by David Lowry (Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker), the record draws a parallel with its 2005 release Nobody's Darlings, meshing elements of English blues, Southern swamp rock and Bowery Street punk rock-all led by the crashing, thrashing twin guitars of Nichols and the venerable Brian Venable. While songwriter Nichols' can transform Mick Jagger-like between gentle ballads ("She Wakes When She Dreams"), moody love overtures ("The Weight of the Guilt") and straightforward pop songs ("She's Just That Kinda Girl"), his mettle (and the band's) is uncovered in rockers like "I Don't Want To Be the One" and "Sing Me No Hymns." --Scott Holter