Saturday, June 4, 2011

Ben Nichols - Last Pale Light in the West (2009)

I apologize for the lack of updates, but alas, I am back and have several posts planned. So now that that is out of the way, lets get on to the good stuff. Lucero has always held a special place as a band for me. Their sound is incredibly versatile, taking southern alt-country and tweaking it through punk rock. What becomes of this is a dichotomy of sound, songs of hope, redemption, loss, and heartbreak. They have a penchant for writing some of the saddest songs this side of the Mississippi, and their meditation on loss is what makes me connect with them. It is sometimes as though, when listening to a song like "When You Decided to Leave", it conjures up the lowest depths of loss in you, and the pain of the song is instantly transferable to one's self. Their last record certainly wasn't their greatest, but it still had some great tracks on it. And they are still up there as one of the best live bands I have ever seen, always willing to give it their all, as you could see from their recent Krazy Fest set.

Ben Nichols, the man behind Lucero, released a solo record back in 2009 entitled, Last Pale Light in the West, a narrative album culling from Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. A record of what Nichol's is known for, sad and redemptive songs, but this time told through a dismal and gritty tale. Nichol's isn't breaking a new ground, musically, here, but the record is more about his penmanship than deviating from a sound. It's his chance to show us he is one amazing lyricist and writer.

  1. The Last Pale Light in the West
  2. The Kid
  3. Davy Brown
  4. Chambers
  5. Tobin
  6. Toadvine
  7. The Judge
We are the last of the true.

*BONUS* I was perusing Ben Nichols on youtube when I came across this track, recorded in Janurary of this year. The uploader doesn't seem to know whether it is a Lucero song or a solo song, but one thing is for sure, Nichol's still hasn't lost it. More sad songs, please.


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