The Harsh Light of Day
Two songwriters alternating on lead vocals: A guitar player with a brooding, bluesy edge and a bass player with a buoyant sense of melody. Quirky characters people their three-minute pop songs, and they’re backed by a versatile, mop-topped drummer. Sound familiar? It should. This Austin, Texas, trio appears to worship middle-era Beatles, as well they should. But let’s be fair: this is no nostalgia band. Guitarist Miles Zuniga’s rocking “Time” brims with “Twist and Shout” exuberance—yet his dark rant “This Is Not My Life” skirts a metal sound. Meanwhile, the jaunty keyboard melodies of bassist Tony Scalzo’s deliriously well-rhymed “You’re an Ocean” don’t really suggest the sarcastic bite of the driving “Morning Star.” Notable also: the silky, creepy “Vampires” and the ironically sunny “Dark Street.” Fastball mixes pitches effectively here, growing musically and sounding like big leaguers.