Sub Pop (1994)
When I went to the Seattle Pop Punk Festival in January one of the bands that played was K Streets. A band featuring multiple members of the Fastbacks, playing Fastbacks songs. For whatever reasons, The Fastbacks were never a band that I had listened to much, if at all, over the years. They embarrassingly just weren't on my radar and I never bought any of their records. K Streets, however, blew my goddamn mind and I knew right then I had to go buy every Fastbacks record I could possibly get my hands on.
At the recommendation of my buddy Alan, I've started with their 1994 album Answer The Phone, Dummy. The dual vocals of Lulu Gargiulo and Kim Warnick coupled with the insane guitar pyrotechnics of Kurt Bloch create a real firestorm of catchy songs that have an unbelievable energy to them. Guitar solos are not always my favorite things at the best of times, but the way Kurt weaves them into these songs, they never feel like self indulgent wanking, they are always in service to the hook and the song.
There are so many incredible songs throughout this album. Crazed fast rockers like "Went For a Swim,"slower more introspective ones like "Old Address of the Unknown" and flat out pop masterpieces like “On The Wall” and "I Found The Star." Every song has something unique to offer but still work in the context of the album as a whole.
Again, it's borderline ridiculous that it took me until 2018 to realize that the Fastbacks are great and that I should be listening to their records. I'm well over twenty five years behind the curve on this band, but now that I've seen the light my hunt begins to track down the rest of their large and very intimidating discography. If anyone has a recommendation of the next one to pick up, let me know.
The Fastbacks - "I Found The Star":
The Fastbacks - "Trumpets Are Loud":