Fastbacks – Very, Very Powerful Motor: #505 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Fastbacks - Very Very Powerful Motor

So why is Fastbacks’ Very, Very Powerful Motor on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

As we’re getting ever so much closer to the halfway point on our journey through the best 1,000 albums ever, it’s so exciting for me to debut a band like the Fastbacks.

Which, for those who know, know about the Fastbacks.

Which is also to say: the Fastbacks are one of the best bands of all time that most people haven’t heard of.


Figuring out what the “worst” or let’s say least incredible Fastbacks album is as big a challenge for me in many ways* as putting together something as insane as a best 1,000 albums ever list (and “in order,” no less, because I’m just simply that nutso).

* Plug in a huge array of other band names and the same is true, but Fastbacks hold up as an all-time great band that has mostly lived in obscurity AND happens to have a huge output of great-great-great studio albums.

All of that being said, let’s rev up the Very, Very Powerful Motor. Like all Fastbacks albums, it’s fast paced punk rock infused with rock solid pop sensibilities and gorgeous vocals from Lulu Gargiulo and Kim Warnick.

No band makes a punky pop sound as ebullient as the Fastbacks. Example A: “Trouble Sleeping,” which then segues into nice chunky guitar riffs and lovely, floating vocals.

“I Guess” proves how effective the Fastbacks can be in straight up thrashy punk mode. Then add in slightly weirdo, murky vocal effects and towering drums and you’ve got yourself a nice little gem of a number.

And then “I’ll Be Okay” slows things down considerably, showing off that Fastbacks could have easily been a straight up pop band – and a very good one – had they felt like focusing purely in that direction.

Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Fastbacks’ Very, Very Powerful Motor

This is as good a time as any to mention that I have long been particularly drawn to great punk rock with superior female vocal stylings. Fastbacks represent the less aggressive, more pop punk side of that spectrum, while bands like L7 and The Distillers represent the more caustic and raucous vibes.

Some stats & info about Fastbacks – Very, Very Powerful Motor

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Punk Rock, Pop Punk, Alternative Rock, Seattle Bands
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • When was Very, Very Powerful Motor released? 1990
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #505 out of 1,000

Fastbacks’ Very, Very Powerful Motor on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Fastbacks’ Very, Very Powerful Motor that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

I need a change in my life, and I need it right now. Good or bad, it doesn’t really matter how.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.