Rock & Soul
When bands split and members go solo, an uneasy feeling usually settles upon the fans. Well, breathe easy, lovers of Cuesta Drive; frontman Dane Drewis’ first solo CD hits the speakers with a rocking sonic boom and acts as a transitional piece of work. Six of the 13 tracks are from Cuesta Drive’s Distractions, and the rest are new songs in which Jason Weed joins on drums and percussion and Drewis’ father, Dale, adds bass and vocals. Some of the best songs off Distractions appear—notably “The Lick” and “Temptation”—but Drewis’ solo work overshadows his former band. “Full of It” exemplifies the funky rock that dominates Northern California, a sound that would envelop a dark coffee shop or thrive on a sunny beach, but the standout track is “Friday Night.” It’s poised to become an anthem for people who work hard and play harder—the perfect love letter to those of the working class who never skip the bar after a long week. More important, it’s evidence that the presence of Cuesta Drive hasn’t disappeared. The song has the power and hook to send half-smoked cigarettes hurling to the ground while their owners leave behind the hot summer night and dash into the bar to join the party.