After two decades, the Memphis-based band is at its most mature yet.
Co-produced and engineered by Grammy Award winner Matt RossSpang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Driveby Truckers), Among The Ghosts was recorded in the band’s hometown of Memphis, TN at the historic Sam Phillips Recording Service.
Kicking off the record with its title track is a bold and powerful statement – and one that tells you exactly what this LP is all about. The intro guitar riff has a gothic Southern feel to it and then Ben Nichols’ voice pours in like Tennessee whiskey – smooth, edgy and just the right amount of smokey.
One of the stand-out tracks on the record is To My Dearest Wife. Inspired by love letters written during the Civil War, it picks up on the family theme spanning across the record. Its chorus has something anthemic but more in the sense of driving on an empty at night, missing those you love and you turn the radio up loud when this song comes on and sing your heart out. The song also features part of Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Bottom Of The Sea is another one of those tracks that highlight Lucero’s knack for not only writing incredible lyrics but the music to match it. The topic is, you guess it, drowning. And you don’t need to listen to the words much to get the feel of the song, and the feel of sinking slowly to the bottom of the sea – with all its peacefulness and despair all wrapped in one.
As far as ballads go on this album, Always Been You is going to pull on your heart strings. What a stunner! Loving takes you to the other end of the emotional spectrum with its beautiful lyrics – “It might not be good enough for them, but I just want to be good enough for you.”
If any of the songs perfectly represented the album’s cover art it would be Back To The Night. It will have you haunted not only by Nichols vocals but even more so as actor Michael Shannon adds his spoken word part to the track.
Closing track For The Lonely Ones reminds strongly of that big 80’s Southern Rock with the distorted vocals and catchy guitar riffs. It rounds up a stellar album perfectly, showcasing how far Lucero have come as a band but never forgetting their roots over the last twenty years.
With two decades under their belt – filled with endless touring and nine studio albums – a band could be forgiven for releasing more of the same at some point. But Lucero don’t take the easy route, instead they deliver one of the best records of their career.
Now, give it a spin when Among The Ghosts is released this Friday. Then get excited to hear those songs live when Lucero return to the UK.
Lucero’s UK dates:
5 December – Stereo, Glasgow
6 December – The Deaf Institute, Manchester
7 December – The Garage, London
8 December – The Haunt, Brighton
9 December – Thekla, Bristol