Nick Luca has been a creative force on many indie rock recordings; Calexico/Iron & Wine’s In the Reins, M Ward’s Transistor Radio, DeVotchKa’s How it Ends, and more. Sick of Love shows Luca solidly coming into their own.


Maybe you think you know what to expect from Nick Luca.

Sure, he’s the same Nick Luca -- front man for the band Luca (no duh!) -- who’s recorded and played with the likes of Calexico, Howe Gelb, Devotchka and Neko Case (to name a few).

And yes, his old band was the more jazzy Nick Luca Trio. He’s also the same guy that works on Tucson radio station 92.9 The Mountain’s “Studio C” and helms the board at the infamous Wavelab Studios.

But Nick’s got a new MO. He’s morphed his band’s sound from “experimental indie trio” to “full-blown 4-piece rock juggernaut.”

Luca’s last CD, the 2006 release Sick of Love, moved the band’s sound into rock territory. To help him go in that direction, Nick enlisted guitarist Joey Unger and drummer Ryan Janac, both from Tucson’s sonic-popsters Sunday Afternoon. And yes, Nick’s longtime band mate, bassist Chris Giambelluca, is still onboard.

But the band now sports a more driving, guitar-based attack. The songwriting is infused with psychedlia, Beatles-esque pop and classic rock. And then there’s the mark of storied producer Sean Slade (Radiohead, Hole, The Pixies, Dresden Dolls), who brought a new perspective to the talented band and helped them capture their musical evolution on tape (not Pro Tools) at Wavelab. Nick wrote 9 of the 11 songs on Fractions. The opening guitar churn of “Pretty Mama” feels like a Badfinger flashback. (A good thing, that.) “It’s Not Over Yet” rides on a menacing wash of chords until it breaks into the undeniable hook of the chorus. “One Way Ticket Home” immediately gets the

head boppin’ and the fingers poppin’, while “Bitten” is a latenight burner reminiscent of Luca’s earlier work as the Nick Luca Trio. And the sweet piano melody in “Down” is ten-derly complemented by Nick’s breathy vocal delivery.

Cover songs on the record include a dreamy, heat-shimmered version of Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” and an affectionate, fun-loving take on Jonathan Richman’s quirky “I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar.”

Guest musicians include Calexico’s Jacob Valenzuela on trumpet, famous Tucson (and beyond) drummer Winston Watson, sax player Marco Rosano and producer Sean Slade (multi-tasking here on organ, bass clarinet and vibes).

Nick Luca will be touring in John Doe’s band for most of the Summer of ’07. Luca the band just recorded a sizzling live show at everyone’s favorite Tucson venue, Club Congress; titled Coming In For a Landing, it’s available online and from Nick on tour. September ’07 will see the release of Fractions, and the band plans to take the songs to the road for a fall tour. We’ll let you know when you can catch them in your town.


Sick of Love
You Win Again
Little Town
Slow Motion