Over the past 20 years the term “alt-country” has gone from niche to mainstream, and that is at least partially to the credit of genre pioneers, Lucero. A beloved band to both punk and Americana circles alike, the Memphis based group’s ninth studio record comes out August 3.
Among the Ghosts is a collection of 10 songs that stay true to everything fans have come to love about the Lucero. From the title track that opens the album, listeners will happily welcome the earnest guitar tones layered underneath the raspy vocals for which Lucero is known, a sound that can best be described as “trucker rock.”
Frontman Ben Nichols’ vocal abilities are incredible, and they really help complete the band’s sound. This is especially clear on some of the quieter tracks like “Always Been You” and “Loving,” both of which highlight Nichols’ unique ability to portray character and personality in his voice.
Alongside the personas that Nichols portrays by using his vocal tones are characters that appear in the lyrics. On songs like “Long Way Back Home,” the band flexes their storytelling muscle, developing dynamic characters with intricate backstories in just over four minutes.
The catchiest song on the record is without a doubt “Cover Me,” a sing-along single with an epic bridge buildup that is quite satisfying to the ears and the soul. While the album spends most of its time in alt-country territory, the record’s closer, “For the Lonely Ones,” has a hint of boogie rock and roll with a groovy saxophone riff that will be sure to have listeners shaking their hips. It effectively ties together a clear, concise, heartfelt addition to Lucero’s rich discography. After nine albums, the band still manages to put out fresh new material while not abandoning their roots.