Step Into Light

33 1/3

Simply put, the latest from Fastball feels like a beautiful, rib-cracking, tear-jerking bear hug from a bunch of old college buddies who you’ve not seen since that night out in the desert, nearly a decade ago.

The Austin-based outfit joined forces with longtime friend Chris “Frenchie” Smith to produce slab #6 – the trio’s first offering since 2009’s Little White Lies. And the result is an irresistible 12-song set that is undeniably the feel-good of 2017.

The opening double-whammy combo of “We’re on Our Way” and “Best Friend” kicks off the record with the band’s signature crunch and catchy hooks, while “Behind the Sun” follows up in short order, delivering “Mother Nature’s Son”-style charm.

Capturing the authentic, infectious cred of the golden alterno college radio era, “Love Comes in Waves” is one of several super-sah-weeet highlights, including the seemingly Tarantino soundtrack-destined instrumental “Tanzania,” the familiar-sounding, head-bopping “Secret Agent Love” and the turbo-charged “Hung Up.”

Although the band has engaged fans for 20 years with unforgettably magical, Beatles-inspired songwriting, it’s the quirky, record-closing, early Bowie-flavored “Frenchy and the Punk” that shines brightest here – matched only by “I Will Never Let You Down” – a warm and wonderful reminder of why we became friends with Fastball in the first place. BRAVO!

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