Lucero Continue to Evolve with 80s Rock and Roll Sounds on ‘When You Found Me’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

Memphis-based band Lucero have managed to draw in influences from Punk, Classic Soul, Folk and Country throughout their 20-plus year career. So, it seems only natural that they throw another genre into the mix on this, their 10th studio LP.

On When You Found Me, singer songwriter Ben Nichols and the band stated they were going for a Classic Rock sound, circa the 1980s; the type of music that would have soundtracked their childhoods. Based on the 10 tracks that make up the record, they clearly succeeded. The band’s moody, at times Southern Gothic sound, is still tightly wrapped around the songs here, but there is also a feeling of nostalgia. You can easily hear anyone one of these songs sandwiched between Bob Seager and Tom Petty on some Midwest FM station in 1983.

The opening track, “Have You Lost Your Way?” is an eerie but fascinating three-minute story of a girl trying to outrun something evil. The following track, “Outrun The Moon,” is also told from the perspective of a young girl. On “The Match” the band again evokes that Southern Gothic vibe with another supernatural tale. Elsewhere on the driving “Back In Ohio,” one of the few songs on the record to boast horns, Lucero play a rousing and addictive jam that’s bound to be a live staple for years to come.  

The album was recorded over two-weeks this summer in the middle of the global pandemic. They didn’t trek far, heading to Sam Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis and the members quarantined with each other and wore masks, seemingly making for an odd experience. 

Musically, the band is stripped down more so than they have been in a while on When You Found Me. And despite the pared down horn section, they used vintage synthesizers on certain songs, a first for the band, and managed to find some space for fiddles here and there. Regardless of these tweaks, this is still unmistakably a Lucero record. 

Photo credit: Bob Bayne

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