The Past Was Faster is a home recorded, lo-fi tour de force. Kelley Stoltz plays almost every note on this recording while wearing his many influences proudly on his sleeve. There is certainly a strong Velvet Undergroud current throughout, but other bands are evoked from song to song, from Joy Division to Nick Drake. "The Fog Has Lifted" and "Vapor Trail" could easily be outtakes from Captain Beefheart and Syd Barrett, respectively. However, for all his musical chameleonship, there is a consistency to the songs that keeps it from sounding like a various artists compilation. Like his idols, Stoltz has an obscure and intriguing lyrical sense about him; words may or may not make actual sense, but they work together perfectly. Apparently Stoltz wrote these songs over a period of five years then recorded them at home after settling in San Francisco. The production values occasionally allude to the album's home recorded origins, but in a charming, not distracting, way. With such a long time to come up with a batch of really great tunes it will be interesting to see whether Stoltz can follow up, but The Past Was Faster is certainly a strong debut.
AllMusic Review by Sean Westergaard