Lee’s Listening Stack – Fountains of Wayne – ‘Sky Full of Holes’
Let’s hope it’s only a matter of time until the world wakes up to the fact that Fountains of Wayne are, simply stated, one of the best rock bands in the world. That’s no idle proclamation. While the Stones, U2, Coldplay and others of their ilk may dominate the airwaves, FOW are easily in a position to win the hearts and minds of the music loving populace, with awesome hooks and exuberant refrains that take hold from the get-go.
Then again, let’s not get overly excited. The band’s been around for over a dozen years and has come close to mass stardom before, even to the point of getting a Grammy nomination in 2003 after being ordained “Best New Artist.” Likewise, their last album, Traffic and Weather, pretty much confirmed their status as pop perfectionists. But the fame that once seemed so imminent still managed to elude them, and here we are in 2011 with those prospects unfulfilled. So it’s time for the faithful to rally and spread support for Sky Full Of Holes, another album that proclaims FOW’s pop profundity. Bearing the similarities they farmed before – Squeeze, early Kinks, early Costello, Sloan, They Might Be Giants and the like – they mine the intricate details that confirm their craft. They somehow manage to name check both Cracker Barrel and Will Ferrell on the wistful “A Road Song” and etch a plaintive vignette about an everyday dreamer with “Action Hero” (“He is on his hands and knees/He is searching for his keys/At a small Vietnamese/Place on East 11th Street…”) But overall, it’s those elusive yet engaging melodies that command attention immediately – the driving acoustic guitar intro to “The Summer Place,” the rousing whoops of “Radio Bar,” the idyllic reflection of “A Dip in the Ocean” and the riveting rush of adrenalin that fires up “Someone’s Gonna Break Your Heart.”
With Sky Full of Holes, Fountains of Wayne shoots for the stars. And their aim, as always, never falters in the slightest. – Lee Zimmerman
Lee Zimmerman is a contributor to a variety of publications, including Blurt, M Music & Musicians, New Times, Goldmine and Amplifier
This review appears courtesy of Amplifier, 50,000 Watts of Non-Stop Indie Rock http://amplifiermagazine.blogspot.com/