When You Found Me
Thirty Tigers/Liberty & Lament
Darkly Fascinating, Intense and Atmospheric Grown-Up Alt-Something
The mighty Lucero passed me by for most of their career; until I reviewed their 2018 album AMONG THE GHOSTS and I now own a further four of the previous 9 albums they have released since forming in Memphis circa 1998; such is the effect that album had on me.
There’s a visceral intensity to opening track Have You Lost Your Way that is almost electrifying. A couple of nights ago I even found myself cranking the car stereo up way too high for a man my age, just so I could feel those guitars shake my bones!
It’s with no embarrassment to say that this song; alongside Back in Ohio, Good As Gone and A City on Fire sounds like they are channelling their inner Steve Earle through a Nirvana overload, which comes out unlike most anything else you will hear anywhere else in 2021.
While a predominantly dark and very serious album at heart; Lucero also manage to throw some light on what is going on around them with the magnificent Country-Blues of Coffin Nails (which tells the true story of Nichols’ grandfather dealing with the death of his own father, a veteran of World War 1) and the simmering title track When You Found Me, with the wonderfully constructed lines:
“When you found me I was drowning
Drifting farther out to sea
Clutching to the anchor as it sank beneath the waves
No way you could get to me
But you found a way
You found a way for me.”
As with most albums, it will be all too easy to sit back and wallow in the music held herein; but as I’m prone to do, take time and care to listen to the words and stories in the songs; do this and you will quite often be mesmerised at the quality of songwriting.
With a title like Pull Me Close, Don’t Let Me Go you would be forgiven for expecting a cheesy Pop Song; Hell No!
This is an epic in the making with a brooding melody and a grizzled voice half talking and half singing; and again; when you hear Ben Nicholls singing:
“While we were apart
I kept you near
Always in my heart
Now I am here
Pull me close – Don’t let go.”
…. You will get a tight feeling in your chest and barely be able to breath.
Even today I’m not 100% sure which genre to fit this album into, as it’s certainly Alt-Something, but whether that ‘something’ is Country (All My Life) or ‘Rock ‘(City on Fire) will always be left up to conjecture; or at least your own special interpretation.
Not for the first; nor I’m sure the last time this year, selecting a Favourite Song hasn’t been easy; as this is an old fashioned Long Player in the way that you will get the best out of it if you give yourself the time to play it in completion and not fanny about picking out songs on Spotify; this is Grown Up’s music.
But two songs have really captured my imagination; The Match sounds like it could have been written with Johnny Cash’s American series in mind; although I doubt even John could have kept up the tempo and tension that the band create; the other I played on my weekly Podcast and got some great feedback; so Outrun The Moon, with its Tom Pettyesque story and Jason Isbell style refrain actually becomes my #1 Track here, and probably was all along.
Play loud, play often and most of all tell your friends and they will love and admire your taste in music.
Released January 29th 2021
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