TITLE: …And His Orchestra
YEAR RELEASED: 1987
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Wrong, Wrong, Wrong; In the Winter
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The select few and possibly those who listen to KEXP
LINEUP: Kurt Bloch, Lulu Gargiulo, Kim Warnick, Richard Stuverud
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Debut long-player for a long-standing Pacific NW band illustrates their power-pop charm and hooks.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Fastbacks were more legendary than anything. Every write-up of the Seattle scene mentions the Fastbacks, yet until the 90’s very few heard them outside of the area even though they’d been gigging since 1981.
You can definitely tell the joy and fun they have playing. Kurt Bloch’s songs fit the group like a glove, and Kim Warnick’s vocals, while maybe not technically elite, convey the spirit of the lyrics and songs perfectly. Bloch and Lulu Gargiulo’s guitars seem sinple, but go beyond the regular three-chord monte and add some metal flourishes at time (no, really).
Music like this always bring a smile to my face, and it’s kind of a shame that they receded into the background as the Seattle scene became THE SCENE.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They formed in 1979, and went through a shit-ton of drummers, including a young Duff McKagan..
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Two of their early EP’s are appended at the end. Even though they’re from the mid-80’s they have the same spirit.
GRADE: A: If you need a fun record that illustrates the joy of playing in a band, this is it.