Lucero - The Attic Tapes [reissue] (Cover Artwork)


Lucero: The Attic Tapes [reissue]The Attic Tapes [reissue] (2006)

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: SloaneDaleySloaneDaley
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I was searching a while for a context in which to write a piece for this album and a thunderstorm some nights ago provided just that. There was no rain, just distant lightning, thunder and a vicious hot wind that succeeded in knocking out all my power. There was nowhere to go, it was dark and the he.
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I was searching a while for a context in which to write a piece for this album and a thunderstorm some nights ago provided just that. There was no rain, just distant lightning, thunder and a vicious hot wind that succeeded in knocking out all my power. There was nowhere to go, it was dark and the heat festered into something almost tangible. Lucero's The Attic Tapes is the musical manifestation of such an atmosphere. From the first note it releases a dark warmth and intimacy rarely found in today's modern musical landscape.

Part of said intimacy has to do with the recording method, which was putting the band to 8-track analog in the attic of the guitarist's father's home. The decidedly grainy recording lends itself remarkably well to the material. All the instrumentation sounds distinct enough while maintaining a rough edge to cradle Ben Nichols' already coarse rasp, which is a nice change from the more polished sound of the band's last record. Another prominent feature of this album is the playing of violinist, Reiko. This is especially evident on "Hello Sadness" where, coupled with some deep bass, it creates a truly haunting aural experience, especially during the final line of "I'll surrender tomorrow if I live through the night."

The songwriting itself is arguably not as strong as later releases but it is consistently competent and never seems forced. Certain moments even display flairs of greatness that the band would later achieve, such as "Summer Song," which is shrouded in a lazy haze much like the season it references. It contains lines like "boys in their summer bands sweat as they give it their all / the bands might be good but probably won't last through the fall" that fully encompass the brooding, thoughtful nature of the record as a whole.

This is a reissue, so the band does appear to put a good amount of effort into making it a worthwhile release. Brian Venable, the guitarist, gives detailed liner notes on the recording of the album, some band history and his perspective on why the album should be reissued. This last point is important when today a couple of months can pass and a band will reissue an album pointlessly. A nice inclusion is also a list of the different musicians on each of the individual recordings, but the band does fail to include lyrics, which is a strike against the album (you shouldn't really have trouble understanding them though). Other extra recordings are included as well: a fairly useless set of demos, and an out of print 7". The 7" material is fantastic having "My Best Girl," a love song to a guitar, which would later appear on their self-titled record, and a cover of Jawbreaker's "Kiss the Bottle." Out of all the covers of this song this reviewer has heard (Kris Roe, Sparta, Foo Fighters) this is far and away the most interesting. The already somber song is perfect for this genre of country folk, in particular with Ben's style of singing and the use of a mandolin. The cover art is creatively altered using a picture of the original screen used for the original pressing to bring everything full circle.

If you already own the original this reissue might not be worth it to track down, unless you are a rabid Jawbreaker fan and don't already own the 7". If you prefer Lucero's forays into more upbeat southern rock style music over their more mellow output, this might not be for you either. However, if you don't own the original and feel like listening to some laidback country-fried folk, this could be the album for you. So do yourself a favour and curl up with some Jack, sit back and let it all soak in.


People who liked this also liked:
Against Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseLucero - That Much Further WestAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyLucero - TennesseeThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartLucero - Rebels, Rogues, & Sworn BrothersJawbreaker - Dear YouDescendents - Milo Goes To College

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
mclz (August 14, 2006)

i didnt know that this record was re-issued
ill have to check it out..i dont have the original but it probably sounds better than the original

notfeelingcreative (August 11, 2006)

Not my favorite Lucero effort, but hey, its still Lucero which makes it excellent!! Defiantely one of my favorite bands. Consistently good music from the boys from memphis!

Anonymous (August 11, 2006)

This is my favorite album by them

1. Attic tapes
2. Tennessee
3. S/T
5. NObodys darlings

I know thats pretty much chronological. Im not saying their new stuff is bad or worse. i just prefer their earlier sound to their more evolved one. However, form what Im eharing their new album could replace thsi as my favorite

slymer (August 11, 2006)

The Dreaming In America DVD is excellent. I've watched it multiple times, plus it comes with a live CD.

I probably listen to The Attic Tapes the least of all Lucero albums.

MedioCore (August 11, 2006)

How's the "Dreaming in America" DVD?

Anonymous (August 11, 2006)

I bought this a couple of months ago. Definitely a good purchase.

kirbypuckett (August 11, 2006)

I have to buy some Lucero on vinyl.

I imagine it would sound very nice.

- Kirby

Anonymous (August 11, 2006)

I endore the Tennesse comment about getting it first, it is my fave of theirs.


Anonymous (August 11, 2006)

Their cover of "Kiss the Bottle" is one of my all-time favorite covers by any band. Such an amazing song.

Score is for the cover. Haven't heard the rest of this album, but the band's other material is pretty good too.

swingline (August 11, 2006)

also, if you like lucero then be sure to check out cory branan. you can stream his albums at http://www.corybranan.com/radio/music_thys.htm
"Cory Branan's got an evil streak and a way with words that will bring you to your knees."

swingline (August 11, 2006)

get tennessee first. then the s/t.. then attic tapes... and then the next 3 in chronological order.

muskawo_ (August 11, 2006)

I'm just startingto get into lucero. I might pick this up.

What's the best album to start with?

swingline (August 11, 2006)

nothing like lucero now. really simple but still good stuff.

TheRhetoric (August 11, 2006)

This one is near the top of my "when I have money" list

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