Lucas Cates Band - All The Pieces
“All the Pieces,” the second album from Madison WI natives The Lucas Cates Band, is a thoroughly danceable, musically tight and well produced piece of pop rock work. Released in 2008, “All the Pieces” is a 100% self-produced follow-up to the band’s 2005 debut “Contradictory” (released on Madison’s PopBomb label).
“This record was done completely independently,” Cates said. “I produced the record with the guys and our investor. Everything is independent now and I like it that way. The music is what we want it to be.”
These are well-constructed, dynamic original songs, all written by Lucas Cates himself and arranged by the band. While the lyrics are both touching and emotive, the first impulse I had on listening to this record was simply an urge to get up and dance. This is music I would enjoy at an outdoor summer music festival rather than in the car or on my MP3 player. The grooves are great, the musicianship solid. This is rock’n’roll best served “live.”
The lyrics on this album, which I read on the CD jacket, have a universal mass appeal. The songs cover topics everyone can relate to, like love lost (“Love Broke Her Heart”), current events (“Numb,” about global warming), and injustice (“1492”). The title track “All the Pieces” is about the ups and downs in life, and looking on the bright side.
“We have progressed a lot as a band in the last year and a half, and after this year we’ll have had six major national tours,” Cates said. “I have met a lot of great people who are working as hard as I am and believe in the project. “All the Pieces” is about everything coming together and all these wonderful people whose paths have collided to put us where we are now.”
That said, this is music I just want to blindly shake my booty to with a cute girl on a summer day, not contemplate the depth and meaning of the lyrics. If I had to criticize anything about this album it might be just that the music is too damn upbeat in contrast to the more serious lyrical ideas presented.
There is a decent variety of musical styles on this album, with songs ranging from the more solo singer/songwriter stuff to the full-band rock out jams. Lucas plays rhythm guitar and sings with a voice that is tonally rich and bold, on par with contemporaries in this genre like Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz.
“John Mayer, Dave Matthews, and Jack Johnson were all people I listened to growing up,” Cates said. “I hesitate to say that we sound like these bands. I have the utmost respect for John Maier as a musician, a singer and a songwriter. He’s probably my biggest influence, but I appreciate all good musicianship. Dave Matthews was a main influence when I started playing guitar in college. I like Jack Johnson and Willie Porter for their songwriting.”
“All the Pieces” was released in August 2008. The band has been touring since early September to promote the record and they will host a CD release party for the album on Saturday October 18th, 2008, at the Brink Lounge in Madison, WI (www.thebrinklounge.com). There will be an “all ages” show from 9:00 to 10:30 followed by an “over 21 only” show from 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Lucas Cates Band Online