Album Review

Lucero - Should've Learned By Now

With their latest album, the Memphis based band shore up tenacity and turbulence in equal measure

Holler Country Music
February 20, 2023 12:22 pm GMT

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Lucero have never been shy about expressing their veracity, and on their new album, the tellingly titled Should’ve Learned By Now, they stir up a steady barrage of outrage and emotion that takes hold even from the get-go.

“Nothing’s alright”, they declare on the title track, asserting both angst and agitation with the forthright defiance that has always been their stock in trade. And if the opening blast of ‘One Last F.U.’ doesn’t prove the point, well, suffice it to say it simply doesn’t get any more volatile than that.

Lucero are unabashed insurgents after all, and on songs such as ‘Nothing’s Alright’, ‘Buying a Little Time’ and ‘Macon If We Make It’ - the latter supposedly based on an actual calamitous road trip - the band express their discontent with an intensity delivered at full throttle. Needless to say, these rousing, riveting songs provide a clear perspective on the tumult that continues to plague the world, leaving many left to wonder about the possibility of ever finding stability.

It’s natural then that other songs would opt for reflection, even in the midst of that chaos. ‘Raining for Weeks’ slows the pace and provides opportunity for quieter contemplation. The tender tones of ‘Drunken Moon’, ‘Time to Go Home’ and ‘She Leads Me’ share moments of heartfelt engagement, in ways both soothing and sobering.

Despite the animosity that's evident throughout, Lucero lean into their notions with intelligence and insight. They’re keen observers of the human condition, considering the futility that resides at the core of so many everyday encounters. The fact that they choose to express these sentiments with such raucous resolve owes to the fact that they’re essentially an Everyman outfit, one committed to fully expressing their own sense of self even when confronted by conflict.

Of course, that’s a heady task, so credit singer, songwriter and guitarist Ben Nichols with the insight and intelligence needed to pen a set of songs which resonate with both fury and finesse. In a very sense, Should’ve Learned By Now could be considered an album for the ages, and, at very least, that rare combination of power and poignancy needed to hammer the point home.


Should've Learned By Now is out on Friday 24th February via Thirty Tigers. You can purchase the record from one of Holler's selected partners below:

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Written by Lee Zimmerman
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