Fountains Of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Managers

Disappointing return for literate New York quartet

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It’s taken four years for FOW to resurface following the acclaimed (but meagre-selling) Utopia Parkway. In the interim, something seems amiss. The lyrics are sly dissections of US life (this time swapping shopping mall hell for big business emasculation), but the fizz seems to have flattened. If Utopia Parkway was the finest power pop action since The Posies’ Frosting On The Beater, here they’re diminished by trying to touch too many bases, often lapsing into sub-Oasis stodge. And ironically, despite the spunky “Bright Future In Sales”, it’s the deviations that work best: the lazy disco groove of “Halley’s Waitress”, or the countrified “Valley Winter Song”.


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Zookeeper, garage-rock avatar, avant-garde explorer… Jack Cooper had already travelled long distances before he left the city for the right kind of quiet. But while this move has given Cooper fresh perspective, what does it mean for his band, Modern Nature?