Fastball – Keep Your Wig On

Well look whose back from the land of one-hit wonders. Fastball releases their album, Keep Your Wig On, with another round of pop/rock- heavy on the rock. Back in the 90’s they paved “The Way” with their radio frequent flyer about an elderly couple that just abandoned their home and scooted along the lost and lonely trail. “But where were they going without ever knowing the way?”

Apparently, on hiatus for a bit while they reevaluated their famed status. And after such a period, the trio that is Fastball created a scrapbook of songs about “perseverance in the face of all hell breaking loose.” With well-blended vocals and harmonies, the lyrics shine through the rhythmic acoustic guitars and drums and melodic keyboard. Harmonicas decorate the music as well, adding the grit to a somewhat country feel in a couple of songs.

However, not to be trite, the twelve tracks are quite diverse in musical genre. It is easy to stack this album in the pop/rock section of the record shop, but don’t be fooled. Fastball dabbles in garage-rock, Latin, country, folk, and a wee bit of soul. If Mr. Radio ever discovers that these guys are back, I’m quite confident that the hopelessly catchy “Lou-ee, Lou-ee” will get some serious airtime. I find myself humming it at the most random times.

This album deserves to be a summer spinner. On the beach or on the road, I definitely associate this with the laidback air of this sunny season. Maybe that’s because it happens to be summer when I’m listening to it, but I like to make mental soundtracks and Keep Your Wig On persists to be heard in my head. If you’re planning a road trip any time soon, definitely snap up this album for the ride. Or if you’re just lounging around your hometown, get it anyway because this is not to be missed.

(Rykodisc)

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