The best music, if you ask me (and you are reading my reviews, so you did), is that which you find hard to pinpoint, label, and put into easy generic categorization. Music that is so well crafted, even on the first play, that no obvious, overall point of reference jumps out at you. And music which when subjected to continues plays, rather than becoming easier to put your finger on becomes, even more, a thing unto itself. Fast Track the Bad Times is such a collection of songs. Fresh Yesterday is such a band.
There are some broad strokes that you can use to paint a description, but even those are a bit forced. On The Rocks is The Red Hot Chilli Peppers had they come out of Austin, Texas, in the 70s, Trouble In Paradise is Californian Roots-Rock-Reggae, and Witchcraft is an excellent blend of soulful licks and Stooges riffs…not something I ever dared to dream of happening in my lifetime!
And then, at the other extreme, they deftly pull off soul ballads with Ava (New Number), and then with the final song, Maybe In the Moonlight, you have a fantastic pop song with echos of Al Casey’s guitar work (give Nilsson’s Everybody’s Talkin’ and tell me I’m wrong), which can only ever be a good thing.
With all these strange references and juxtapositions, it might seem as if I am suggesting that Fresh Yesterday have plundered or plagiarised existing music…I’m not. I’m saying the exact opposite and that it is only through such musical references that I can begin to describe to you, the reader, just how great – and by great, I mean inventive, adventurous, quirky, exploratory, reverential, rebellious and fun – this album truly is.
Putting music into words is a challenging prospect at the best of times (not for nothing is this site called Dancing About Architecture…do look up the full meaning of the phrase if you are not already aware of it); here, that prospect is near impossible. And that can only ever be a good thing. Right?