Fast Moving Cars
(Razor & Tie)
First Appeared in The Music Box, August 2004, Volume 11, #8
Written by John Metzger
With songs that introspectively ponder the land of broken hearts and shattered dreams, The Clarks’ seventh full-length studio album Fast Moving Cars is easily its most mature effort to date. Still, it’s not the band’s lyrics that make the outing a notable one; it’s the rapturous fusion of tight harmonies and jangly riffs that makes the set instantly gratifying — even if it is largely a lightweight, guilty-pleasure endeavor. Falling somewhere between the Freddy Jones Band, Del Amitri, and The BoDeans, The Clarks offers a solid collection of muscular Midwestern rock that dips and soars in all the right places, striking the perfect balance between sing-along melodies and angst-ridden intensity. Highlights include the infectiously uplifting groove of Shimmy Low; the easy-going, head-bopping bounce of the title track; the writhing, Fastball-like punk-pop of You Know Everything; and the outing’s finest tune Train, an effective and moving, pedal-steel-driven ode to the World War II generation. Even if many of the songs on Fast Moving Cars lose their luster after a extended period of heavy airplay, there’s still a certain charm to The Clarks’ material that keeps the collection from slipping fully into the realm of mere background noise.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box