Tag Archives: Lucero

Album Review: Lucero – Women & Work

I am sure it’s pretty safe to say that Luerco is a band name that many have you have at least heard of.  Maybe you are a huge fan of them already, or perhaps you have been meaning to check them out.  For all I know, you have no idea who I am talking about. 

My point is, if you are reading this, you now are aware of a band who calls themselves Lucero and I hope by the time you finish reading this mess of works you check them out if you have not done so already.

The boys in Lucero, for those of you who do not know, hail from Memphis, TN, and have been mixing their punk rock roots with their Southern style creating some entertaining  country and indie folk rock music since the late 90s.  Recently the band dropped their ninth release in their career titled Women & Work.

The honky-tonk “On My Way Downtown” started the album right with the pure intention of getting the girl to come out and have some drinks.  “I know the last time we drank I was a little less than behaved” was sung by Ben Nichols and rubbed off as an honest apology.  The horn-heavy title track “Women and Work” followed with a let’s-drink-this-bad-day-away-feeling.  I loved the repeating lyrics: “Come on kid, let’s drink ’em down.  Kid don’t let it get ya down.”

“Juniper” was one of my favorite songs on the album.  It was just a fun upbeat Southern country / rock track perfect for getting weird to.  The combination of horns and twang was perfect.  I could only imagine the appearance (Read: “A dark-eyed beauty and a dangerous thing”) of the woman this song surrounded. 

I found myself enjoying “Who You Waiting On?” mainly with the story told.  It was a simple jam but the lyrics provided a clear image of a guy trying his luck at picking up a lone lady during last call. 

The sorrowful “I Can’t Stand To Leave You” captured perfectly that which is called heart break.  I felt the pain in that song and would be lying if I said I never felt that way once in my life. 

“When I Was Young” reminded me that age may only be a number, but memories will last a lifetime.  “Go Easy” ended the album with a  gospel vibe especially when the  female backing vocals kicked in.  “Go – go easy.  And we’ll find our way” repeated throughout the track and eventually put the album to rest.   It was a nice switch, but something I was not expecting at all.

Overall, the album was a great listen, but there were two changes I noticed.  First, I found myself missing the punk rock vibe.  I did not feel it like I have in previous Lucero albums.  It was almost like they decided to set it on the shelf this round.  Secondly, Nicolis’ voice was not nearly as raspy.  There is just something about his scratchy singing voice I have always been a fan of.  On Women & Work, his voice is a tad smoother, almost as if he was dropping lozenges while singing. 

I will say that this album grew on me tremendously after my initial listen.  At first I was scratching my head on if I liked it, but after a couple of times through, I was hooked.  I loved how personal the album was throughout and how I related with the lyrics.  It’s catchy and it’s something that punk rockers and country lovers can all enjoy equally.  Women & Work is one of those kinds albums I’d have my parents listen to and I know they would not give me shit for it, but rather, ask for more.

Concert Review: Social Distortion / Lucero / Frank Turner – 10/24/2010 – House Of Blues – Cleveland, OH

Three different levels of rock took place last night in Cleveland thanks to Social Distortion and their hand-picked bill.  The punk rock icons made a stop at the House Of Blues Sunday night with special guests Frank Turner and Lucero.  The venue was packed from end to end with tickets selling out weeks ago leaving the last minute fans standing in the rain looking for extras – literally.

It’s been a little over four years since Social D took the stage in Cleveland, far too long of a hiatus.  It was no surprise at the amount of fans who lined up outside of the venue waiting for the doors to open.  Everyone in line looked excited and knew exactly what was going to be happening in just a short time except for a Cleveland police officer who pulled his motorcycle up on E. 9th asking if anyone had an iPod with Social Distortion on it so he could see what they sound like.

Opening act Frank Turner took the stage just after 8 p.m. to a very full and energetic crowd.  This was his second visit to Cleveland ever and this time was much better than before as he was not battling the flu and none of his bandmates slipped on the stage and fell on their ass during the set.

Playing “Try This At Home” it was clear that more people in the crowd this time knew who Turner was as they sang along to his folk rock songs.  Turner excitedly announced a new sing-along called “I Believe” and taught the crowd their parts.  Needless to say, the song was amazing and provided a nice hint of what his new material sounds like.  He continued with “Sons Of Liberty”, the ever catchy “The Road” and also played “Photosynthesis”.  The set was shorter than the crowd would have liked but was enjoyed by all.

Good ol’ boys Lucero took to the stage after a brief break and did their best to win over the crowd.  Sadly not as many people seemed as excited during their set but there was a nice chunk of true Lucero fans who sang from the beginning till the end as loudly as possible making sure all their surrounding neighbors realize they were missing out on something good.

The southern rock act played through their set including “I’ll Just Fall”, “Sixes & Sevens” as well as “Noon As Dark”.  They sounded amazing live and appeared so happy to be on the stage with lead singer Ben Nichols even saying “This is a dream tour for us.”  “Mom” was a highlight to many in the crowd who all knew the lyrics by heart as was the set ending “Tears Don’t Matter Much.”  Their set flew by entirely too fast and many were wishing that was not the case.

Social D made way to the stage with lead man Mike Ness donning an almost rockabilly / Swingers outfit with baggy khakis and a white button up shirt.  After absorbing the cheers from all over the venue Ness was handed a guitar and the band broke into three classics “The Creeps”, “Another State Of Mind”, and “Mommy’s Little Monster”.  Looking and sounding solid as ever, the band played with great energy and soaked in all the excitement from the crowd.

“Sick Boys” got the fans moving around as Ness and crew thrashed about the stage while everyone sang along – Rock N Roll never sounded so good.  With beers in hand and eyes focused on the stage, Social D continued with “I Was Wrong” as well as played a new song from their upcoming album entitled “Still Alive”.

Moving around their catalog, the band played older and newer tracks including “Ball & Chain”, “Bakersfield” (another song from their upcoming release) and “So Far Away”.  For having been around for 30+ years, the band showed no signs of being too tired to play or any hints that their musical career would be ending anytime soon.  By the sounds of the cheers it was certain that everyone was enjoying themselves at one of the better shows that has come to Cleveland.  Add in “Prison Bound” and Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” and many Social D fans were beyond satisfied with the set.

The only downfall of the show that could be seen were the folk who just didn’t know when to stop throwing back drinks – more so than other recent shows.  It was quite apparent that a lot of Sunday night concert goers would be calling off Monday morning.  A couple fights erupted, one during Lucero, and a select few fans were so piss drunk that they could not stand on their own two feet halfway through the main performance.  Nevertheless the surrounding crowd was unscathed by their actions and paid attention to the real reason they came to the House Of Blues: To take in a Rock N Roll show by one of the best acts out there.

January 18th, 2001, Social Distortion will be releasing Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes, the band’s first release in over six years.  By the show that the band put on last night, it’s evident that excitement for their new album has reached higher levels.

Social Distortion Setlist:

The Creeps
Another State Of Mind
Mommy’s Little Monster
Sick Boys
Don’t Drag Me Down
I Was Wrong
Bye Bye Baby
Still Alive
Ball & Chain
Through These Eyes
King Of Fools
When She Begins
Making Believe
So Far Away
Prison Bound
Down Here With The Rest Of Us
Cold Feelings
Ring Of Fire