b.z. humdrum [ Home / Writing Samples / Magazine Articles /] Ray Gun Magazine
Album Review
(for Raygun magazine, 1999)

the day that didn't exist

"The Fastbacks are looking for a drummer." That used to be the running slogan of this not-so-famous Seattle band. Overlooked by the public and major labels for 17 years, surviving (or absent from?) the early nineties cannibalism of Seattle rock, the Fastbacks are still doing what they have always been doing. No, not looking for a drummer, making catchy pop-punk anthems! Drummer Mike Musburger can now say he’s been around for 30.48% of the songs, more than any other of the Fastbacks 11 former percussionists, and maybe that stability has brought some consistency to songwriter Kurt Bloch’s latest. TDTDE is a self-professed concept album around a day that didn’t exist. Its actually just fourteen non-stop tracks that leave you wondering why the likes of Bis even exists. The voice of singer/bassist Kim Warnick lets you believe that the chipper kind of teen angst–the part that says "Aww, shucks!" instead of "God-fuckin’-damn it"–still exists when we get older. And with lyrics fretting happily ,"Nothing’s still as good as everything!" even the balding yuppies in the eighties bars will be jumping up and down with their teenie bopper next-of-kin. You can’t keep from nodding your head to steady rhythm of songs like "One More Hour" and "As Everything." But the Fastbacks just never seem to have caught on, touring (internationally) with such well-known acts as Pearl Jam. But even with supporters like Eddie Vedder, perhaps the Fastbacks quirky mix of giddy-punk and pop sensibility has left them in a curious place devoid of record promoters. Or maybe it’s just that punk–even pop-punk–isn’t supposed to be happy, God-fucking damn it!