Lucero – When You Found Me

Album Review | Thirty Tigers | Review by Allan Wilkinson

Formed in the late 1990s, Lucero has held tight to a solid rock base over the years and has released ten studio albums, gone through one or two personnel changes and has maintained no small measure of Punk attitude along the way.  For their latest album When You Found Me, the Memphis-based band has borrowed from the sounds Ben Nichols heard during his formative years, not so much a retro record or indeed a pastiche of what has gone before, rather a simple nod towards it.  Also consisting of Rick Steff, Brian Venable, John C. Stubblefield and Roy Berry, Lucero is made up of musicians who appear to know what they’re doing, drawing from their country roots, yet offering a punchy rock backdrop to some of the songs, including the opener “Have You Lost Your Way”, which sounds not unlike Steve Earle singing over a Black Sabbath backing track.  Rick Steff’s pursuit of collecting vintage synthesizers is put to good use in some of the tracks, which adds to the overall sound, while avoiding the urge to create over-cluttered or overpowering arrangements.  Now a father himself, Nichols continues to address family issues, such as in the case of “Coffin Nails”, which addresses four generations of his own family, going back to the Great War.  Released in a time of extraordinary unrest, the album also includes “A City on Fire”, an obvious inclusion that appears to be filled with the pessimism we’re all currently feeling, rescued temporarily by the closing title song that offers a glimmer of optimism.  Recorded at Sam Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis with producer Matt Ross-Spang once again at the helm, When You Found Me was made under all the usual lockdown rules, the band maintaining distance and wearing masks during the sessions.