The Past Was Faster
The Telegraph Company
One-man records can be dangerous things. By their very nature self-indulgent, far too often there is a good reason why the music was created alone -- the artist's drive exceeds their talent, usually in large doses. Every once and again however, a gem tumbles into view. Such is the case with the debut from Kelley Stoltz. Lo-fi and loving it, The Past Was Faster stomps from Indie-land ("X-Ray Eyes") to the Nick Drake-ish "Popular Diseases" and on and on. This is a great record, one highlight being "The Fog Has Lifted," which could be a lost Captain Beefheart tune -- whack guitars, the razor blade vocals, and lyrics that seem to be from another (better) dimension. Stoltz plays and records well, without wallowing in folkie-land or endless noodling-ville (two problems with most projects of this sort.) He simply writes good songs, with touches of Syd Barrett ("Vapor Trail") and others, but all with a unique voice. This is inspiring stuff -- it makes you want to rush out a buy a four-track.