2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
Don’t bet against the Fastbacks. Whenever it seems like the Seattle quartet won’t live to see another record, the band launches a loogie in the face of its own demise. Sure, the punky pop on “The Day That Didn’t Exist” is virtually indistinguishable from the punky pop the Fastbacks recorded in the early ’80s. That’s because Fastbacks records are formulaic. They all rely on familiar, candy-flavored packages of quickly resolved melodies, ripped through like the band is late for its next show.
The Fastbacks work very hard at being what they are — a group that hasn’t left the garage in 20 years, a band that saw grunge come and go without ever getting called up to the majors. “The Day That Didn’t Exist,” the band’s 10th full-length, details 24 hours in a fictional day filled with quintessentially Fastbackian moments: fitful ruminations on freedom (“Defy’s Gravity”), happiness (“One More Hour”) and despair (“What’s the Use?”); melodies perky enough to overshadow tales of calamity (“Have You Had Enough?”); guitar riffs that suggest the world began the day God created the Buzzcocks (all 14 songs).
It should be mentioned that guitarist Kurt Bloch, who’s a guy, writes the Fastbacks’ songs, and that bassist Kim Warnick, who’s not a guy, sings the bulk of them. Don’t mistake the arrangement for something more than it is. Bloch is no Babyface; his songs have never suggested a willingness to wear someone else’s shoes. Warnick, with the occasional backup of guitarist Lulu Gargiulo (also not a guy), fleshes out Bloch’s everyperson tales in a way that he never could. As a singer, Warnick is a Peppermint Patty with a hacking cough. But when she leans into a melody like the one in “I Was Stolen,” a melody so full of its own energy that drummer Mike Musburger has no choice but to try to hammer it in place, she sends it into the clouds.
What’s new in the Fastbacks’ garage? Nothing, except for the fact that the Fastbacks are still there, recording and surviving the passage of time the only way they know how: doing this.
Brett Anderson writes regularly for Washington's City Paper.More Brett Anderson.
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.