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Lucero, ‘Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers’ (Liberty & Lament/East West)

Lucero probably romanticizes alcohol-soaked working-class futility to an unhealthy degree, and Ben Nichols is hardly the first blue-collar bard to look for a way out of a dead-end town at the bottom of a shot glass. But on the Memphis roots rockers’ fifth album, Nichols’ gritted tales, sung as if he’s gargling bourbon and thumbtacks, often achieve a Springsteen-ish grandeur. Meanwhile, the band’s restless, energetic twin-guitar assault, mingled with studio vet Rick Steff’s piano, sells the drama without overplaying it.

Now Hear This: Lucero – “I Can Get You Out of Here Tonight” DOWNLOAD MP3

>> Listen to Lucero on Napster