Lucas Lee – Normalcy Bias (2013)

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To say that Lucas Lee has formidable chops is an understatement and does not fully do his music justice. On his sophomore release, Normalcy Bias, Lee shows he’s the master of the Les Paul (and Stratocaster for that matter), ripping off leads and solos with the precision and grace which recalls Robert Fripp or GTR-era Steve Howe. Amazingly enough, Lucas Lee’s guitar chops are just the tip of the iceberg.

Normalcy Bias shows his skill as writer and arranger are just as impressive. The song “Irreversible Logic” demonstrates the cunning of the insane in its fascinating use of different time signatures and precise insanity. Yet the song, and the album display an appropriate use of space and sonic textures. Each guitar part is masterfully played yet not overplayed.

The seven tracks seem to build with intensity and lunacy as the album progresses. “Justice Injustice” pulls the listener in with the barely audible multitasked spoken vocals of Jordan Reynolds. By the time we get to the last track, the listener is fixated on the interesting and magnetic progressive elements of the songs and left wanting more. The song “Institutionalized” contains the traits I mentioned previously yet in eleven minutes, takes the listener to the brink of insanity.

Conveying an urgency and passion without the use of words, Lucas Lee’s guitar is more than capable of doing the talking — but he does enlist his talents at piano, bass, violin, Rhodes and synthisizer to paint a complete picture. Keeping remarkable time is King Crimson/Mr. Mister drummer Pat Mastelotto whos own chops compliment the project. All seven track were written, arranged and produced by Lee, who gives the listener a peek into his own insanity while making great progressive/hard rock.

It’s a peek well worth taking.

Normalcy Bias was released October 1. Visit Lucas Lees’ website for more info.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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