Truth, Corrosion and Sour Bisquits

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It was a sad day for fans of punk rock in the classic hooky-poppy-snotty manner when the Fastbacks finally called it a career in 2002, after a bit more than 22 years together, and two years after the fact guitarist, songwriter, and general idea man Kurt Bloch finally released the band's final musical statement, a selection of unreleased tracks, single cuts, and compilation contributions which were wound into an album called Truth, Corrosion and Sour Bisquits. It would be wonderful to be able to report that this represents a last-inning triumph from a band whose glories rarely received the attention they deserved, but this isn't the case. And it's unlikely that's what anyone involved had in mind, anyway -- this is the Fastbacks' version of Odds and Sods, a set of songs that got away (at least in terms of the album-making process), top-heavy with covers and relatively short on Kurt Bloch originals, but fun and spunky from front to back. If you were any kind of a fan of this band, it's hard to imagine that you wouldn't want to hear the Fastbacks cover the Raspberries, the Soft Boys, or U.K. Subs, and "AAA," "I'll Return," and "We Tried" (the last Fastbacks recording ever) are originals too damn good to be lost to the ravages of time. Ultimately, Truth, Corrosion and Sour Bisquits stands as a fond farewell from a band that rarely (if ever) let down their small but mighty core of followers, and while this isn't the album most fans would pull off the shelf to remember the Fastbacks, no one who dug 'em will fail to get a smile from it -- it's every bit as joyous, sincere, and wondrously goofy as they were, which is no small thing.

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