Friday, July 30, 2021

Fountains of Wayne - Welcome Interstate Managers 2xLP - Red Vinyl

Fountains of Wayne - Welcome Interstate Managers 2xLP - Red Vinyl

Virgin/Real Gone (2021, Reissue)

I was a little bit late to the original Fountains of Wayne party.  Or I was a little early to the big one that everyone else cared about.  Regardless, I got into Fountains of Wayne sometime after Utopia Parkway came out.  Yet another band recommended to me by my buddy Alan, and once again he was right.   There were definitely a couple of years between 1999 and 2003 where it seemed that the band might be done, but then the rumblings of new music started.

By this time, I was working in the music biz and had a friend that worked at Artemis records.  He knew a guy who knew a guy that was either helping, or was on the receiving end of Fountains of Wayne shopping for a new record label.  This friend made me a copy of what was to become Welcome Interstate Managers.  I, of course, shared with Alan and we were both pretty impressed with what we heard.  Maybe not on the level of the first two records, but it was so great to have new music by these guys that I for sure got caught up in it.

Sometime in here, after I had the record, but before it actually came out, Fountains of Wayne started playing some shows.  Including one at Bowery Ballroom that we all went to.  I was so excited, but I remember all of us leaving the show kind of disappointed.  It was so long ago that I don't remember any specifics really, but my big takeaway was it felt kind of clinical.  Everything sounded perfect, but maybe a little too perfect?

Soon after the record was officially released and we watched in amazement as a guitar pop band from the fringes of major label world was suddenly everywhere with "Stacy's Mom."  A goofy and fun song that I really liked probably the first three thousand times I heard it, but at this point would be fine never hearing again.  That said, the rest of this album holds up really well and I will still contend that songs like "Mexican Wine" and "Hackensack" are as good as anything off the first two albums.

In a lot of ways, this record for me is like All The Nations Airports for Archers of Loaf.  A record that is more than half good, has a handful of stellar moments, but marks the turning point where I started to lose interest in what the band was doing.  But for three records, both Fountains and Archers were towards the top of my list of the bands I listened to the most.

Fountains of Wayne - Welcome Interstate Managers:

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