Release Date: Oct 6, 2009
Record label: Republic
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Alt-Country
Although Nichols' lyrics and vocals draw obvious attention, the rest of band contributes mightily to creating this marvelous album. Brian Venable serves up powerful riffs and his Southern rock stylings propel the funky "Sixes and Sevens." Rick Steff fills out the band's sound wonderfully whether he's playing organ or piano, and the rhythm section (drummer Roy Berry and bassist John C. Stubblefield) particularly helps to pull the unruly rockers together.
It’s easy to get lost in all the Americana when you spend some time with Lucero. Steeped in it so they are, you would sometimes want to focus solely on all the Springsteen aping and Southern Rock sensibility. And you wouldn’t be wrong to do so. Though, as their major label debut 1372 Overton Park seems to suggest, that may be missing the point.
Lucero hail from Memphis, although you’d be hard-pressed to figure that out from their past five albums. Loud, raucous, unrelenting, Lucero have often sounded like the hard-charging product of an indie haven like Minneapolis rather than the city that gave birth to Stax Records. It hasn’t helped that Lucero established their country/indie/rock/punk template early on and seemed content to make only slight refinements to their sound, rather than ever seriously hammering their way out of the box they’d built for themselves.
Memphis rockers channel The Boss Like Springsteen’s Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., Lucero’s sixth album is named after the band’s home (1372 Overton Park was the address of the Memphis crew’s loft) and it’s comprised of anthemic story songs of lonely nights in the city’s darkest corners. While Ben Nichols’ sandpaper howl has always done his soulful hometown justice, this time Lucero adds a horn section to its dusty country punk for some extra Memphis flavor. But Overton Park best reps its city when it’s not trying so hard.