Release Date: May 6, 2014
Record label: New West
Genre(s): Americana, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Country-Rock
If Lana Del Ray had pores, bodily fluids or even the rare hair out of place, she might be Nikki Lane, the East Nashville firebrand who understands sangfroid is a lot more explosive when you roughen up the edges and throw down a gauntlet. Dressed like Evel Knievel’s stunning distaff doppelganger on the cover of All or Nothin’, Lane defies convention with a record that evokes Dusty Springfield, Loretta Lynn and Jackie DeShannon over a dozen songs that read like Polaroids from a wild heart gone ragged. Power-sauntering through the plucky straight-forward sex charge “Sleep With A Stranger,” Lane eschews ladylike demeanor and any waft of slut-shaming in laying it all out there.
Country rock is a genre of music that seems to lean favorably in one direction or the other. The Eagles, arguably the genre’s antecedent? They tend to sit comfortably on the rock side of the fence, just with country touches. Any Nu Country music that’s being made today? Tends to side with country, just with rock flourishes. But to seamlessly merge the two is a real trick and a treat and that’s what makes Nikki Lane’s sophomore album, All Or Nothin’, so damn disarming.
"It's always the right time," recommends alt-Nashville rocker Nikki Lane, "to do the wrong thing. " On this record full of stories about what happens when you follow this kind of advice, Lane serves as a pretty dynamite guide through the broken hearts and bottles that litter the ground. Her '60s girl-group delivery is a natural fit for the kind of soulful garage rock production brought to the table by the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach (who, apparently, is producing pretty much everything made by everyone these days?).
On her sophomore full-length and debut for New West, singer and songwriter Nikki Lane teams with producer Dan Auerbach and an all-star cast of players to turn in a spirited offering of rock & roll Americana. Lane wrote or co-wrote everything on the date. While she never strays too far from upstart country, there are some startling textures and backdrops in most of these songs that expand their reach into other genres.
Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach has impressive taste when he chooses female vocalists to produce. From Jessica Lea Mayfield to Grace Potter, Valerie June and now Nikki Lane, he hasn’t missed yet. Regardless of the genre, Auerbach is able to bring out the best in these women who, truth be told, have plenty of talent to start with. With Nikki Lane, Auerbach takes her girlish voice and the retro pop/country tendencies she introduced to the world on her 2011 debut, and adds a dose of confidence to the already spirited sound.
Nikki Lane All or Nothin' (New West) Walk of Shame, Nikki Lane's 2011 debut LP, pleased Nashville with its throwback rockabilly cut with a modern, biting sensibility. The South Carolina native's sophomore platter and first for New West digs even deeper. Dan Auerbach adds his star-making touch behind the helm while letting Lane's twang lead the way, opener "Right Time" stomping against increasingly wicked steel guitar and "Good Man" lazily swelling with regret and ennui.
Shots are fired on Nikki Lane’s sophomore album All Or Nothin’. Whether it’s in the blatant, stinging list of flaws that underlies the demands of “Man Up,” or the fierce, feigned indifference of “You Can’t Talk To Me Like That,” Lane is all blazing guns and smoke. An East Nashville backwoods beauty who runs her own vintage store as a side hustle, Lane is unafraid to buck expectations.