Punknews.org
Lucero - 1372 Overton Park (Cover Artwork)

Lucero

Lucero: 1372 Overton Park1372 Overton Park (2009)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


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

I distinctly remember being alone in a dimly lit bar a couple years ago. It was a Sunday during finals week, and I didn't have an exam the following day but none of my friends felt like joining me. As I sat at the bar with my beer, Lucero's "She Wakes When She Dreams" came over the jukebox. The m.
iTunes StoreAmazon


I distinctly remember being alone in a dimly lit bar a couple years ago. It was a Sunday during finals week, and I didn't have an exam the following day but none of my friends felt like joining me. As I sat at the bar with my beer, Lucero's "She Wakes When She Dreams" came over the jukebox.

The middle-aged man to my left closed his eyes as he nodded his head to the slow, acoustic rhythm. The couple behind me cut their conversation short to listen intently. I stopped playing Tetris on my phone so I could hang on every word.

There's just something so gripping in singer Ben Nichols' voice that Lucero fans and people who have likely never heard the band before find themselves instantly gravitating to his earnest ruminations about life and the relationships that shape it. So now the Memphis quartet is back with 1372 Overton Park, their sixth studio album, and things are a just a little bit different this time around.

For the first time, a horn section adorns Nichols' southern drawl and the band's down-south twang, and while it sounds somewhat jarring the first time it's heard, the horns actually add an interesting element to the simple, upbeat "What Are You Willing to Lose?" and an accent to the peaks of the gruff "Sound of the City."

While the new inclusion works well, for the most part the band sticks to what they're good at: powerful songs that tug on all the right strings. "Hey Darlin' Do You Gamble" is vintage Lucero -- Nichols' somber baritone glides over light strumming and tactful percussion to plainly ask "darlin', would you take a chance on me?" It's in such simple but beautiful language that Nichols is able to relate to the college kid, the couple and the middle-aged man in one fell swoop. Lucero's simple eloquence is universal and it is timeless.

Lucero has equal command in more up-tempo affairs, as the rollicking "The Devil and Maggie Chascarillio" and the Skynyrd-inspired "Sixes and Sevens" provide a one-two punch right that infuses the middle of the record with some real energy. Both songs give Nichols a chance to cut loose vocally while the riffs are a great mix of old-style country and rock â??n' roll. "Sixes" effortlessly works in horns and keyboard as Nichols howls over some rambling chord progressions and "Johnny Davis" is a short punk-based jaunt that leads into Lucero's bread-and-butter.

"Mom" closes out the album in heartbreaking fashion. Over the simple-but-powerful combination plucking of electric strings and harmonica, Nichols sings a heartfelt tribute to his mother:

Momma you know we might make some mistakes, and if we should fault it's us who should be blamed / Don't you think twice about what's wrong and right, we learned it a long time ago / We keep it close, and you're with us tonight / Home, it might scatter and fade, with time, all things must change / The route might take its own course, but momma weâ??re still your boys."

It's one of the rare songs that strikes so personal a chord that it really takes you aback. It makes you evaluate your own family situation. It makes you thankful for everything you have.

And that's Lucero in a nutshell. For 10 years the four boys from Memphis have been writing songs woven into the American and emotional fabrics. No one is lost on their appeal. Not the middle-aged man hearing their music for the very first time. Not the couple that realizes how happy they are together just by hearing Nichols' voice. And not the college kid sitting at the bar alone.

Lucero writes songs for us all.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangChuck Ragan - Gold CountryThe Gaslight Anthem - Señor and the QueenThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Dear Landlord - Dream HomesDillinger Four - C I V I L W A RAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThe Clash - London Calling

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
clcsqueejy04 (November 16, 2011)

This album bears a lot of similarity to Two Cow Garage. I think the two bands got a lot of influence from each other. Still, another great Lucero release, and a fun change of pace for them. Quality review too--very compellingly written. Great job!

Spitoff (February 20, 2011)

Sweet review. Please comeback to South Jersey.

bibbee (March 29, 2010)

Typical phenomenal Lucero album. It's a different sound with the horns, but nothing short of greatness.

makeshifty (November 20, 2009)

I think I'm the only person who thinks Tennessee was Lucero's last good album.

Indecay (October 9, 2009)

I had this on in the background when I called my friend earlier and he asked me if I was listening to Nickelback. Sad smilie.

sloanedaley (October 9, 2009)

I find this album to be both sneaky and underhanded.

fighttolive (October 8, 2009)

Great review for an even better album, Mom is an amazing song.

kid_im_a_mess (October 7, 2009)

just bought it on vinyl. epic. well done boys.

warmchords (October 7, 2009)

I remember reading ben commenting on how lucero's music tends to resonate with alcoholic, middle aged divorcees. I dont have a copy of this yet, but i've heard the whole album and cant wait to get it.

patbrown (October 7, 2009)

does anyone else notice the song "halfway wrong" sounds just like sixer's song "story" off ofthe saving grace cd? preview back to back on itunes its almost exactly the same. but great record none the less.

ddb43 (October 7, 2009)

Getting this in a couple of hours. Can't wait!! I won't score it yet since I haven't heard the entire album, but I'm sure it's in my top 5 albums of the year.

crankwilldestroy (October 7, 2009)

This record is on my list of albums to actually buy, since I hardly have bought any recently due to no job - this, the Unquoteable AMH and the new Bassnectar.

Good review and scores also for 'She wakes when she dreams'.

MN_DrNick (October 7, 2009)

Great album! Get the mixture of the Hold Steady, the Replacements, Rolling Stones, and Steve Earle sound in this.

brangelina (October 7, 2009)

This record is great!

655321 (October 7, 2009)

This album is so good.

streetwalkincheetah (October 7, 2009)

This is my favorite band going, and I was so set up for a let-down for some reason. I wasn't sure these guys could get the horns right without it feeling forced or distracting, but goddamn was I wrong- they fucking nail it. Plus, there are still little bits of slide guitar and punk rock in there to keep the cranky purist in me happy. I love this album as much as all the others already.

sickboy22 (October 7, 2009)

that was meant to be 5 stars

sickboy22 (October 7, 2009)

Beautiful review. This is for sure my favorite album of the year. I'm also stoked to be seeing them in two weeks at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis.

party-animal (October 7, 2009)

I thought after Dear Landlord and Banner Pilot the year couldn't get any better but I think the new Lucero and Nothington totally blew these out of the water.
Darken my door and The Devil and Maggie Chascarillio could be two of the best songs they have.

blatz_me (October 7, 2009)

I've always enjoyed Lucero, but this album takes it to a whole new level. Absolutely fantastic music. The horns are a perfect addition.

shrapnel (October 7, 2009)

Fantastic review.
Definitely my favorite album of the year

Tom_Deschlonge (October 7, 2009)

"Perrone its nice to know that even in your mid-20's you have no plans to stop acting like a petty 15-year-old with an axe to grind."

I got your back, Danny boy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being in your mid-20's and acting like a petty 15-year old with an axe to grind. Nothing. I do it all the time.

Oh, and Mikexdude: Trapped Under Ice still sucks.

Slacker (October 7, 2009)

Best stuff they have done. I really was surprised by this album. I didn't expect the horns and the soul sound. One of my faves of this year.

insinceredave (October 7, 2009)

A very well writen review, looking forward to getting my hands on this

xshoutoutx (October 7, 2009)

really great stuff. Between this and nothington review, I can finally submit input into material I give a shit about. The org has been pretty static these last couple of weeks as far as GOOD bands being reviewed goes.

eatdogs (October 7, 2009)

red 40 were good and this band is great.

Anchors (October 6, 2009)

Perrone its nice to know that even in your mid-20's you have no plans to stop acting like a petty 15-year-old with an axe to grind.

KevinJamesSuperFan (October 6, 2009)

Favorite band, one of the few whose albums I look forward to with great anticipation and I've never been let down. Gonna also rebuke an earlier comment made further down the page and say that it does not in fact lag after the initial few songs and pick up in the end. Some of Lucero's best songs have been right in this middle area you speak of sir;

Raising Hell, Drink Til' We're Gone, All Sewn Up
Chain Link Fence, Old Sad Songs
Nobody's Darlings, And We Fell, Noon As Dark As Midnight
Cass, The Mountain, She's Just That Kinda Girl, SIng Me No More Hymns
Darken My Door, Sixes And Sevens, Goodbye Again, Johnny Davis.

There you go...take that. My opinion is apparently better. Awesome band, awesome album

sporkandfoon (October 6, 2009)

Definitely up there for album of the year.

telegraphrocks (October 6, 2009)

Hello. Just stopping by the tell you all that I loathe Ben Nichols and this here band. They can collectively lick my fucking butt... that is, if they can get their dicks out of all of your mouths for a minute...

binaural111 (October 6, 2009)

Kudos.

flowerfeeder (October 6, 2009)

Great record.

phantomboner (October 6, 2009)

1372 Overton PARK. Just sayin.

ashtraymonument (October 6, 2009)

Fuck yes

danperrone (October 6, 2009)

"Lucero writes songs for us all."

you're STILL writing reviews like this?

anyway, this is a pretty good cd. starts out with a freaking bang with the first five songs all being really good, but like every lucero album, the middle just sags until the last song or two. "mom" is a really powerful track.

scientistrock (October 6, 2009)

My favorite of the year right now.

swiftjustice (October 6, 2009)

great cd!

dev (October 6, 2009)

Score is for the review and the album. Nicely, nicely done.

robalobadob (October 6, 2009)

This is a goddamn well written review.

Exclusive Streams

Sponsored


Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go