Fountains of Wayne probably doesn't ring a bell for everyone, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a guy who doesn't remember the music video for "Stacy's Mom." The raunchy ode to rampant hormones was a major hit in 2003, propelled by the busty looks of model Rachel Hunter and a catchy sing-along power-pop chorus. But If Welcome Interstate Managers wasn't your cup of tea, don't write off the band just yet.
At their worst, Fountains of Wayne sounds like Bowling for Soup if they'd quit pandering to middle-aged moms who try and listen to what their teenage kids do (which is actually sort of a compliment). And at their best, the NYC four-piece puts a lighthearted spin on real-life situations and scenarios that don't require a lower back tattoo or a strained relationship with your father to appreciate.
Sky Full of Holes, the group's first album since 2007's Traffic and Weather, shows a side to FOW that's everything "Stacy's Mom" wasn't--mature, yet candid, with a sizable amount of depth and wit.
The best part, though, is the story in each song. The lyrics name-drop people you've never met and places you've never been, but it feels like a personal look into a world quite similar to your own.
"So whistle in the sweet pine trees, the imaginary airport breeze, it flickers and flows, fans fires in the road, and all we want to do is go home," sings lead vocalist and guitarist Chris Collingwood on "Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart," the album's first single.
Other standouts include lead track "The Summer Place," which tells the story of a rebellious gal who pops mushrooms and gets arrested for shoplifting, and "Action Hero," a heart-wrenching tune with heartbeat drums about a male figure who's "racing against time": "But the action hero, he swear he feels just fine. He's got to finishing saving the warmth for all mankind."