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The Harsh Light of Day

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Album Review

When a band breaks through the way Grammy-nominated Fastball did with 1998's platinum All the Pain Money Can Buy and its two hit singles "The Way" and "Out of My Head," it's easy for music critics and cynics to write the group off as a one-album wonder. However, with the expansive The Harsh Light of Day, Miles Zuniga (on guitar and vocals), Tony Scalzo (on bass and vocals), and Joey Shuffield (on drums) show enormous growth as musicians and songwriters. To release an album with rock songs this tight in a year of boy bands, pop rap, and teen nymphs is brave, but when you need to live up to the album's predecessor as well, the move might even be considered foolish, but Fastball pulls the trick off with vastly different songs that are able to stand on their own but also form a cohesive unit. With each multi-layered cut, the trio shows pop songwriting skills not often seen in such cookie-cutter times — especially in the particularly staid field of alt-rock. Employing piano courtesy of Billy Preston (on You're an Ocean) and a mariachi orchestra courtesy of Jose Hernandez and guitar courtesy of Brian Setzer (on "Love Is Expensive and Free"), this bold album takes you on an aural adventure of strings, guitars, and hooks paired with intelligent lyrics and taut instrumentation. It's nice to see a band that is more than a one-trick pony. Fastball may just be the harsh light of day the alternative market needs.

Customer Reviews

Fastball's Best

This is the best of Fastball's album. The album opens up with the almost-haunting "This Is Not My Life" and then right into the hit single "You're An Ocean." The album doesn't let up and every song on it is amazingly strong. Great songwriting all around. My favorite tracks are "This Is Not My Life," "Wind Me Up," "Vampires" and "Morning Star" although there is not a weak song on here. Very solid and rocking album from start to finish.

Something Unexpected

After their first two dud albums, I wasn't expecting much when I popped this album in for a listen. I need to be honest: this is one of the best albums I have ever heard. The flow of the album is spectacular, every track is clever and carefully crafted, and the overall mood is perfect with the title "Harsh Light of Day". The lyrics on several songs even go to support the album title as well, something most modern artists would never consider doing. I must also make special note of the song "Vampires". This is one of the best written songs of all time. Period. What are you waiting for? Download this album!

Another AWESOME cd from fastball!

I'm a big fastball fan, I like all their cds but this one was great from "You're an Ocean" to "Don't Give Up On Me" Just AMAZING!!

Biography

Formed: 1994 in Austin, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Formed in 1994 in Austin, TX, Fastball combined a fondness for melodic, Beatles-inspired pop with the alternative aesthetic of late-'90s mainstream rock. Guitarist/vocalist Miles Zuniga, bassist/vocalist Tony Scalzo, and drummer Joe Shuffield — all veterans of Austin's underground rock scene — originally banded together under the name Magneto U.S.A. After signing with Hollywood Records, the musicians changed their name to Fastball (sharing the name with the title of their favorite baseball-themed...
Full Bio
The Harsh Light of Day, Fastball
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