You can't choose where you come from. Fastball are from Austin, Texas, home of such mythical rock nutters as 13th Floor Elevators' Roky Erickson and Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers....
YOU CAN’T CHOOSE WHERE YOU COME from. Fastball are from Austin, Texas, home of such mythical rock nutters as 13th Floor Elevators’ Roky Erickson and Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers.
However, unlike their fellow citizens, Fastball have not sucked from the straw of unhinged brilliance or felt the hand of madness tapping on their shoulders; they’ve been far too busy writing proper popular records.
‘The Way’, which opens this, their second album, and is currently smeared across radio playlists the length and breadth of the land, sounds like The Eagles playing Tom Jones’ ‘Delilah’ and has stood proudly at the top of the charts in Finland, Portugal and, perhaps most incongruous of all, the Lebanon. Clearly, what Fastball have understood that their visionary brethren failed to, is the law of mass marketable appeal that allows you to sell lots of records.
In the process of filling in their names on this payee section on the big blank cheque from Satan, however, they’ve effectively passed up the opportunity to make some interesting music.
‘All The Pain Money Can Buy’ is another slab of chugging, medium-paced, test-tube indie mediocrity which anyone who has heard The Lemonheads or Hootie & The Blowfish will be instantly, sickeningly familiar with. With their moderately melodic guitary jangling generously drowned in layers of spuriously soulful wittering, Fastball make Crowded House sound like Whitehouse.
Aim this low and you can surely never fail. And the price of your soul? One Lebanese silver disc.