While some of the reviews out on this album has them being compared to The Replacements, a comparison which is valid, I completely see the general sound of the sprawling guitars and Ben’s vocals being more indicative of A Boy Named Goo-era Goo Goo Dolls. Each of the album’s 12 tracks spin through without any major shifts in the general sounds, embodying a cohesiveness that is hard to find in any current music. Straddling the line between alt-country and rock, Lucero creates tracks that at their least can astound with their Spartan nature and at best amaze one with the wall of sound they can whip up in just a few seconds. While I am giving a review at large for the album, some tracks rise above even the high standard that Lucero has made for themselves on “That Much Farther West”.
“When You Decided To Leave” is on the surface just another of the country-influenced indie-rock tunes that can be found anywhere else on this disc. However, what makes this track truly memorable is the continual electronic noise that is hidden behind the normal instruments, only able to break through for a few seconds before leading into the demo version of the title track. What was rendered painfully obvious in Neil Young’s electronic-country mesh album “Trans” is much more smoothly created (if one, instead of ten songs) by Lucero on “When You Decided To Leave”. The interplay and vocal qualities that are present on the demo version of “That Much Farther West” provide the perfect ending to a solid album, creating a dialogue that is equitable to individuals talking after a long night, and heading off to bed.
The brutal force of the guitars in a track like “Mine Tonight” before going into the much more flexible style of the chorus really provides emphasis on some of the more relevant lyrics of the track. Overall, “That Much Further West” is a landmark album album, one that will put be put among any of the Uncle Tupelo and Drive Til Morning discs. The band will probably be chaninge guitarists at the end of their tour with Against Me!, and I really am wondering if the dynamic created by the band will remain on any subsequent recordings after the departure. However, “That Much Further West” is the perfect example of an album that takes the best parts from all the genre’s it touches, into the creation of something that is most definitely more than its constituent parts.
Top Tracks: That Much Further West, When You Decided To Leave
Rating : 8.0/10
Lucero – That Much Further West / 2003 Tiger Style Records / 12 Tracks / http://www.lucerofamily.net / http://www.tigerstylerecords.com / Reviewed 21 February 2004