In the realm of harmony-rich pop, no one has ever come close to riding the Beatles’ wave of success. For a moment, though, Fastball looked as if it might. In a matter of months, the band moved from Austin dives to the Tonight Show; its breakout 1998 hit “The Way” propelled sales of its second album beyond the million mark. Yet it’s been five years since Fastball released its last album, Keep Your Wig On, which barely dented the charts. After numerous fits and starts, Little White Lies (self-released) finds the trio sounding electric and energized. Fastball has obviously been woodshedding: “All I Was Looking for Was You,” “The Malcontent (Modern World),” “Mono to Stereo,” and the title track all have breakout potential. Songwriters Miles Zuniga and Tony Scalzo aren’t Lennon and McCartney (“The Way,” in fact, sounds uncannily like the old Tom Jones hit “Delilah”), but these songs get under your skin. Best of all, the band members have returned to their pre-“Way” mind-set: They’re having a blast making music again.
From the May 2009 Issue Subscribe