Over the course of four full-length albums, Lucero has developed a raucous style that balances strained country ballads with pure rock and roll. Beginning with the band’s 2001 eponymous debut, the Memphis, Tenn. quartet has maintained an irreverent blend of country and punk that, over time, has been blurred into a very cohesive and organic coupling. While the band’s studio work has resembled the softer, more subtle side of Ben Nichols’ (singer, guitarist) songwriting, Lucero’s live shows have maintained a fiery intensity reflective of its punk influences.
With the release of Nobody’s Darlings, the band has finally bridged the gap between recording and performing live, offering the rowdiest batch of songs yet, all while maintaining the pained longing that runs like heart strings through the band’s repertoire. “Bikeriders” and “Noon as Dark as Midnight” exude strong whiskey and southern guitar, banged out with a punk abandon, compared to the gentle, longing-filled with drawl of the title track and the rolling “Hold Me Close.”