It had been eight years since this band had released a new album so, when it was announced, I was excited to hear what new tunes they had to give. Little did I know, I would have an opportunity to see them at the very concert that premiered this gem of an album. This is Step Into Light.
Why This Album?
I remember the first time I heard Fastball. Like many people my age it was via MTV and the music video for a song called The Way. This song was one that took the world by storm, it was 1998 and music was making a transition into more electronic tunes when this band came along with some traditional rock and a great tune to back it with. The song itself was just plain cool, the music video was even cooler and, when I picked up the album it came from, All the Pain Money Can Buy, I found the album itself to become one of my mainstays. Had it not been for last years release, All the Pain would have been the subject of today’s post as it was one that I would consider seminal to my music evolution, but there is something special about Step Into Light, and so here we are.
Upon finding out that the classic 90’s band, Fastball was planning a new album, I was excited. Living in Austin Texas at the time, I also learned that they were planning a concert nearby so, of course, I needed to go see the band of my youth at a live show.
That night, my wife and I broke our usual evening of watching tv to go see a band I loved and she was only casually interested in. After leaving, I dare say she has a much better appreciation for the band and their talent. In fact, this album is on a regular rotation these days and I certainly can’t complain. The concert itself was incredible. Playing in a small venue for about fifty plus, it was as close to a private concert as one can get and they made sure every song felt like it was for you. It is clear that Tony Scalzo, Miles Zuniga and Joey Shuffield still enjoy playing together since they formed Fastball in 1993. It is a rare thing these days for a band to keep it’s primary members for so long, but that in itself is a testament to how good these guys are. I would be remiss to mention that their Bassist, Bobby Daniel, is pretty rad as well. For the record, they are really nice guys too.
For a band that has been around for over twenty years, their music has stayed pretty constant for the most part. That being said, they have certainly not stagnated, no in fact they have matured and that is something I love about them. Step Into Light really shows the maturity the band has developed over the years with introspective songs like I Will Never Let You Down but all the while not forgetting to have fun with songs such as the hilarious song about getting marijuana through the TSA in Hung Up. All through the album, you can tell that this band is still having fun and sometimes, that is all that is important.
This whole album is a joy. Evoking moments of classic Beatles rock while also just some fun loving tunes, I can’t think of a single track I don’t like. If I had to choose, the ones that stand out to me are these.
The first is the title track, Step Into Light. It evokes a bit of the middle era Beatles with
The next one is a really cool track about a silent movie star. The song is called Lillian Gish. It’s an odd one, but fascinating nonetheless.
Lastly, Just Another Dream. It’s a song about accepting where you are and how you got there. Here is an acoustic version. It’s pretty rad.
Ok, Where do I get it?
Late to the Game 7/31/18
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