As the third L.P on ATO Records, All A Man Should Do takes a new direction on the same road, in the same town, at a familiar speed; sombre in tone, nostalgic in presence, and thick with that southern drawl – beautiful and never showing signs of getting stale. With seventeen years as a band and a shit lot of touring Nichols says that this is the album his 15-year-old self would have wanted to make. And you can see that, you can see how it reverts back to their old style of stripped down acoustics (being the only record Nichols plays just acoustic guitar on) whilst keeping their newly adapted dad-rock stripes on E-Street band tasting tracks like ‘Throwback No. 2’.
The horns-section reprises its role in ‘Can’t You Hear Them Howl’, making a somewhat rare appearance on the album, keeping its use and sound fresh. Taking a clear hint from ‘Gimme Shelter’, the song is definitely the double click repeat track, and also demonstrates the band’s ability to create classic sounding tracks with their new sound in harmony with their whiskey blues somberness from earlier records.
The first side keeps things on the downers, and this is the side they’re most suited to. But side B has more variety; more life, and it stops Lucero getting lost in their own shadows. Each song does sound like it’s trying to emulate a separate classic rock band (not forgetting the is a Big Star cover in there, ‘I’m In Love With A Girl’), and it does it so swiftly, showing us how capable Lucero are with their sound. But it’s through tracks like ‘The Man I Was’ and ‘Baby Don’t You Want Me’ when you get that real sense of the truth and sincerity Nichols is so good at conveying, and it’s through these that you remember why Lucero are respected by so many – not for their quantity in instruments, but for letting their music embody so many relatable aspects that aren’t coated in anything but the truth.