Rarebits - Fast Cars (Methodmusic)
It's been mentioned here before that Fast Cars are a 1980s Sydney mod band, revolving around the creative core of Di Levi (vocals, guitar) and Fabian Byrne (guitar), that reformed a couple of years ago to make more music. This EP is their second since re-convening and was compiled for the “15th Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival” in Wales earlier this month.
Mod is a label that suggests Union Jacks, sharp clothes, Vespa scooters and The Who, but Fast Cars aren’t constricted by the genre’s straight jacket. “Rarebits” comprises four old tracks and two new ones and takes the band deep into psychedelic pop territory.
It takes a brave Aussie band to cover Russell Morris’s “The Real Thing” but Fast Cars come up with something entirely their own. Yes, there’s backward masking, or its digital equivalent, and massively layered soundscapes. There's no attempt to up the sonic ante on the original and that's reassuring. It doesn’t blow the original away but it doesn’t blow, either. An honourable mention.
The cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr Soul” is something else. Piano, dashes of swirling organ, bongos and (of course) some fuzz guitar (not as distorted as the original) play into the song, and Di Levi’s vocal gives it a new perspective. Masterfully done and big props, again, for taking on one of the most iconic songs of the ‘60s.
“The Problem With You” is a 2017 outtake and couples lyrics about a psychopathic relationship with a widescreen instrumental arrangement that was apparently inspired by Pink Floyd. Reverb-soaked drums underpin mostly acoustic guitars and a haunting vocal.The rockist in me craves more bottom end.
It doesn’t quite hit the mark but the next track, “I Question”, does. It’s a mid-‘80s track produced by Mental As Anything’s Martin Plaza and was previously released on the “Annual” EP. It sounds very much of its era with light guitars and a powerful Levi vocal against some (analogue) backward masking.
“Ode To The Mustang” and “Mindset Fruits Re-Mix” are recently-recorded tracks, the latter a remix, and they round things off nicely.
If you’re lucky there might be some spare copies still floating around. There's also a crowd-sourced album on the way. Hit up the band via one of the channels below.