Lucero, These United States | Subterranean | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Lucero, These United States Recommended Member Picks All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sat., Aug. 15, 8 p.m. 2009

With their ringing guitar riffs, loose-jointed rhythms, and desperate, manic-depressive lyrics, all drenched in the romantic kind of drunken hopelessness, these Memphis boys have drawn not-entirely-implausible comparisons to the Replacements. Ben Nichols’s croaking holler—fried-out but insistently game—does sound a bit like Paul Westerberg’s, but honestly when I first heard Lucero my reaction was, “Cool! Bruce Springsteen got his balls back! And, uh, listened to a lot of Drive-By Truckers records and started a punk band!” As befits their tragic stance—they borrow some classic bathing-in-pain poses from old-fashioned country—they’ve had bad business luck, and have been putting out their records themselves since a label folded under them in 2004. But last year they signed with Universal Republic, a happy turn of events that parallels a change in the overall mood of their music. These days it feels less like sodden, self-pitying crack-of-dawn catatonia and more like first-buzz-of-the-night euphoria—though their self-titled 2001 debut is highly contraindicated for listeners experiencing suicidal ideation, a couple of cuts off the forthcoming 1372 Overton Park recall the Pogues’ “Sunny Side of the Street” vividly enough to induce pogoing. Lucero also plays the Green Music Festival on Sunday. —Ann Sterzinger

Price: $15

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