Lucero - That Much Further West

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Lucero - That Much Further West

Lucero  self-produced its latest release with mixed results. That Much Further West is, on one hand, the kind of record the down-home Memphis rock ’n’ rollers set out to make: a rootsy rock album with a no-frills, rough-edged sound. There’s the gritty, electrified Southern ballad “Sad and Lonely”; the jagged riffing of “Hate and Jealousy”; and the Paul Westerberg-channeling standout, “Tears Don’t Matter Much.” At his best, singer Ben Nichols sounds like a cross between Kurt Cobain, Patterson Hood and Jeff Tweedy, though—consciously or unconsciously—he mimics the latter’s vocal mannerisms too much. The techno breakbeats underneath “When You Decided To Leave” are a weak spot on the album, causing unnecessary distraction during an otherwise heartfelt song. Finally, there’s the static-laden instrumental, “Further West Reprise.” Such grossly out of tune guitar makes sense on a Wilco track like “Via Chicago,” where dissonance matches the lyrical content, but here it’s a failed experiment. Still, for an album like TMFW, the true test comes when it’s blaring from the blown-out speakers of a dim-lit dive bar.

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