Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Fastbacks

  • . . . And His Orchestra [PopLlama, 1987] B+
  • The Question Is No [Sub Pop, 1992] B-
  • Zücker [Sub Pop, 1993] Neither

Consumer Guide Reviews:

. . . And His Orchestra [PopLlama, 1987]
Ace junk guitarist Kurt Bloch is the orchestra leader, off-key heroine Lulu Garguilo his girl singer, and they care so much that if the mixes were cleaner they'd strike fear in the heart of the sainted Joan Jett. As it is, even the lyrics are pretty garage. Maybe next time they'll abandon their principles a little. B+

The Question Is No [Sub Pop, 1992]
For all its sectarianism, one thing alt-rock produces in superfluity is nice guys--nice guys in nice bands. They're friendly and articulate, they support their scenes, they make music for love. Most likely their music ain't half bad, either. But seldom is it capable of signifying beyond the one-on-one club-circuit ambit. Such bands are praised beyond all reason by the fans they've served so faithfully for so long. In New York the prototype is Tara Key and Tim Harris's Antietam; in Seattle it's this Kurt Bloch-Kim Warnick unit. As you may have read, they're down-to-earth and pop-punky, the very model of a garage band for everyday use. Warnick sounds so sensible you'd loan her your car. And yes, some of Bloch's tunes will get her around the block. But unless you've seen them a few times, or Warnick's honest voice happens to activate your body chemistry, you'll struggle to penetrate the hoopla and then forget you own it. B-

Zücker [Sub Pop, 1993] Neither