Lucero, Nobody’s Darlings

Lucero, Nobody's Darlings

Memphis’ Lucero blends a solid dedication to Southern rock (sans racism) with early country and punk-tinged garage rock (thanks in no small part to producer Jim Dickinson, best known for his work with The Replacements, Big Star, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Bob Dylan, and the Stones). With such well-heeled musicians’ auras hanging around, comparisons are inevitable. At times, the band pulls off Social Distortion-style punk, and other times vocalist/guitarist Ben Nichols — whose gravelly voice sounds like he’s a firm believer in the double shots of whiskey he sings about on “California” — sounds oddly similar to The Pogues’ Shane McGowan. Nobody’s Darlings, however, showcases the band’s obvious appreciation for both Replacements-esque rock ‘n’ roll (“California,” “Bikeriders”) and Wilco’s early country fixation (“Noon As Dark As Midnight,” “All The Same To Me”).

“Shut up and play that guitar…we ain’t nobody’s darlings,” Nichols sings on “Nobody’s Darlings.” Obviously, slogging it out in dingy bars gets the band down — and the band’s had plenty of ups and downs since their last release (chronicled on the recently released documentary, Dreaming In America) — but this album proves that Lucero’s near-success with 2003’s That Much Further West was just a hint of good things to come.

(Liberty & Lament Records; Lucero --
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Thursday, March 30th, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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