Lucero appear to be at a stage in their career where fans will listen to whatever they want to put out, without being restricted to a certain style; this is the stuff of dreams for many a band, and with new album All A Man Should Do, the they seem to be really enjoying themselves.
A sense of nostalgia is one of the things you notice about this record on first listen. Tracks like Throwback No.2 are akin to early soul, but also littered with blues connotations. Lucero then bring it right back to the present by adding production that really brings it out its shell, and if you’re going to compare it to anything current, it definitely has a resemblance to recent material from The Black Keys.
Young Outlaws relies heavily on the input of horns to push into the verses, and the distinct blues vibe has a toe tapping quality that would work really well in front of a live crowd.
Ben Nichols vocals are on fine form throughout, none more so than on album opener Baby Don’t You Want Me. Gruff and characteristic, his voice laid on top of the non-traditional country sound of the track gives it that little something different that sets the band apart from the heavily crowded industry, showing why they’ve lasted this long.
Can’t You Hear Them Howl must also be mentioned, as it’s a real album highlight. Acoustic and electric guitar play around each other before the horn steps in to separate the fight. The melody then takes over with its strong and fast pace, which makes for an interesting track when set against Nichols’ controlled and settled vocals – even when singing of heartache and regret.
All A Man Should Do is a right of passage for a band comfortable with who they are and where they’re going. It shows a confidence that has grown overtime, and is a sign that there’s much more to come from a band lost in the moment.