Fastball The Harsh Light of Day (Hollywood)

Texas Platters

Record Reviews

Fastball

The Harsh Light of Day (Hollywood)

Ahhhh, the sweet smell of success! "This," sings Miles Zuniga on The Harsh Light of Day's opening track, "this is not my life. This is not my face, this is not my place -- no, this just isn't right." Roaring to life on major-label production values, Fastball uncorks its third delivery for Hollywood Records, firing a 95mph-er right down the middle of the plate. Nothing fancy, just major league power: swelling strings, pitch-perfect harmonies, and stainless steel riffs and hooks. "You're an Ocean," the album's hummably dorky first single, segues quickly out of "This Is Not My Life" and aims for the same platinum bullseye "The Way" hit on the local trio's 1998 breakthrough, All the Pain Money Can Buy. And this time, a million units later, there's pain, all right. "Millions of people loved what you did, but when it hit ya, you ran and hid," muses Zuniga on the pouting "Goodbye," countered by his alter-superego Tony Scalzo on the adjoining "Love Is Expensive and Free" ("You can talk to me about powder kegs and how I'm sitting on one right now"). Back and forth they go, Zuniga at turns maudlin and philosophical, but always romantic ("Dark Street," "Vampires"), while Scalzo bipolarizes from extreme highs ("Morning Star") to self-pitying lows ("Funny How It Fades Away"). All the Pain Money Can Buy served up titles like "Better Than It Was," "Which Way to the Top?" and of course, "Warm Fuzzy Feeling." The Harsh Light of Day blinks back lines such as, "Money honey, buys you things, [but] it can't buy a place in the sky, and time beats up on you -- another year disappeared" ("Time"). The Harsh Light of Day -- all the pain money can buy.

***  

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Bright Light Social Hour
Jude Vol. 1 (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 8, 2019

Texas Platters
Charlie Faye & the Fayettes
The Whole Shebang (Record Review)

Libby Webster, Feb. 8, 2019

More by Raoul Hernandez
Extreme Metal All-Stars Vltimas Debut “Monolilith”
Extreme Metal All-Stars Vltimas Debut “Monolilith”
Ex-Morbid Angel singer David Vincent hosted local LP sessions

Feb. 28, 2019

Crypt Trip Falls on “Hard Times” With New Single
Crypt Trip Falls on “Hard Times” With New Single
San Marcos classic rockers tease Haze County with audio premiere

Feb. 25, 2019

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle