If alt-country has taught us anything, it’s that a broken heart is not a pretty thing. Lose your girl? Your home? Your direction? There are songs for that, and they’ll all make you cry. While country music has always embraced the melancholy, Lucero’s lyrics cut to the quick without the pomp. These words burn like hell going down, as evidenced by Ben Nichol’s torn-up vocal chords. With a sound rooted in punk-tinged country rock, last year’s “Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers” saw the boys foray into Springsteen territory. While the guitars churn and splinter onstage, Lucero audiences tend to adopt a “drunken choir” persona, with every person in the room singing along between shots of whiskey. Playing more than 200 shows a year since the millennium, the Memphis-based band tours as hard as they drink. There’s the rub. A set’s outcome directly corresponds with the amount of alcohol the band has consumed—but if you can keep up, it all sounds divine. (K. Tighe)
Lucero plays November 9 at Metro, 3730 North Clark, (773)549-0203, at 9pm. $14.