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"Rhythm & Views"

Sick of Love

The problem with reviewing a local album is that it's hard to eschew the local factor: Are you giving this band more of a chance because they're local? Would you not even give it a second listen were they from, say, Anywhere, Calif.? I'm all for supporting local music--sometimes, though, there's a tendency to give local bands more of a chance than one would with bands composed of people one does not know.

With Luca's Sick of Love, though, this ain't a problem: Local or not, this is a damn good album.

From pop-rockers like "Find Me There" and "Melody" to jazz grooves like "Loosin' Ground" and "Maybe Move On, Baby," Sick of Love is heavy on the energy, only slowing things down for "Evening Blue" and "This Tiny Room." Things just gel on Sick of Love: Slide guitar and vocal harmonies on "Maybe Move On, Baby" turn the song from just another blues number into something deliciously hypnotic, and the energy of Luca's live performance is captured on "Rosalie." "This Tiny Room," with its recurring chorus-laden guitar melody, is the kind of song you'd expect to hear in the background of a TV show, and I mean this in a good way--it's that well put together. Save the title track, which has something a little too ordinary and stale (Luca's strength is making standard rock 'n' roll sound fresh), Sick of Love is all well put together.

Annie Holub - Tucson Weekly

" - Sick Of Love Review"

Nick Luca’s big beat pop is served well by his power trio format. His guitar playing steers the rhythm section into no frills bar rock, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t above reaching for the mystic. Surprising appearances by accordion, vibes, mandolin—always in subtle ways, just urging the song along-make tracks like “This Tiny Room�, “Find Me There� and “If Love� Richer than expected. Rocking tracks like the title song and “Dominoes Fall� are just straight, gut-bucket rock that can fill a room and line at the bar with anyone. Sick of Love is a record that grows on you, a pleasant rocking and keys driven outing that seems slight on the surface, but has a pretty big river, and heart, running beneath it. Repeated listens open up avenues into the richness of the sound. - Music Emissions

"Cleveland Scene - Sick Of Love Review"

Nick Luca's first two records were heavily influenced by the fertile Wavelab Studio scene in Tucson, where he has worked as sound engineer with such desert-noirists as Calexico, Giant Sand, and Friends of Dean Martinez. But Luca sheds that skin with Sick of Love, emerging with a diverse record of '80s power pop, hook-happy country rock, and indie laments -- music that sounds vintage, but never nostalgic.

The opening title song is a blast of Graham Parker-meets-Rockpile pop, featuring jagged guitars, frenetic rhythms, and Luca's once-thin voice spitting out lines of romantic frustration. "Find Me There" and "Melody" are cut from similar pop molds, while "Rosalie" and "Dominos Fall" recall the punk twang of Too Far to Care-era Old 97s, both cuts powered by runaway locomotive beats, Luca's harmonica, and Jon Rauhouse's pedal steel. Elsewhere you can hear strains of Tom Verlaine ("Losin' Ground"), John Doe ("Love Me Too"), and even Teenage Fanclub ("This Tiny Room"). Members of Calexico and Giant Sand's Howe Gelb lend support, but this time they're guests, not sources of inspiration. Love may be giving Luca the business, but it's also helped him record a gem of a rock disc, one of this year's true surprises. - Cleveland Scene


Sick of Love
You Win Again
Little Town
Slow Motion



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.