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By Brian Barney
Fountains of Wayne Welcome Interstate Managers S-Curve Records www.fountainsofwayne.com
With their third release to date, Welcome Interstate Managers, New York’s Fountains of Wayne has cemented their standing as one of the great all-time pop acts of recent years. Song writing duo Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood, along with former Posie Judy Porter and drummer Brian Young, have crafted yet another collection of songs that take the best of the timeless catchiness reminiscent of groups ranging from The Monkees to The Knack. Polished with style is the flavor of the day in hit-worthy tracks like “Stacey’s Mom” and “Little Red Light” where hard-edged guitars meet melody lines that remain stuck in the brain from the first listen. The jangly, slightly overdriven layering of vintage guitars through vox amplification resounds throughout in tunes such as “No Better Place.”
Although the subject matter of cell phones and late appointments may wax redundant, the volley between electric and down right pretty acoustic in tracks like “Valley Winter Song” keeps things fresh and interesting. A precious gem lies hidden under this vast mountain of pop in the country snippet “Hung Up On You,” which features a guest appearance by steel pedal master Robert Randolph. With equal doses of pop, twang, rock and 60s psychedelica, FOW’s latest has covered all the bases with something for everyone.