The Nowherefast sound is a mix of several styles: power pop, radio rock and obviously AOR, but mainly it has a heavy radio rock leaning.
Written by: gdmonline
LABEL: Scotti Bros
SERIAL: ARZ 38207
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Steve Bock – lead vocals, bass * Bob Fredericksen – lead guitars, rhythm guitars, bass, vocals * Jeff Naideau – keyboards, rhythm guitars, vocals * Jimmy Hansen – drums, percussion
TRACK LISTING: 01 First Time * 02 Sometimes I Wonder * 03 Feeling Better * 04 Strange Reason * 05 Nowhere To Run * 06 View Through A Tear * 07 As I Am * 08 No One With Nothing * 09 Feelin’ Like Loving You
There is next to nothing about this band anywhere on the Internet. One of the joys of writing for Glory Daze is undertaking painstaking research and piecing together snippets of facts to formulate an article, as is the case here with Nowherefast.
The Nowherefast sound is a mix of several styles: power pop, radio rock and obviously AOR, but mainly it has a heavy radio rock leaning. Of the membership, Steve Bock came to California around about 1977, leaving Iowa and a regular gig playing with the possibly the midwest’s hardest and loudest sounding power-trio ever: Truth And Janey.
Upon arrival, he had played around L.A during the disco/punk era with bands such as Soiled Angel and Gerhard Helmut’s Ripper, but he and guitarist John Christian left that band to form Nowherefast.
Keyboardist Jeff Naideau had come over to L.A from out east (Connecticut), foregoing a classical background to become involved with rock music. Naideau provides much of the colour with this band with his keyboard playing. Bob Fredericksen took over the guitar duties with Jimmy Hansen rounding out the band. In 1982, Nowherefast released an independent four-track EP called ‘Rock N Roll’ (WVM Records) before signing with big-time label Scotti Bros.
Though described as a commercial rock outfit, they are by no means a wimp-out band. Probably put that down to Bock’s heavy influences, which includes his previous thunderous power trio exploits plus his dabble into the manic and rabid energy of the L.A new wave/punk scene. Nowherefast’s melodic intentions must seem like a world away for him then, because it fuses the energy and style of bands such as Mayday and early Survivor.
Their hybrid style is imminent from track one – ‘First Time’ mixes brash guitar lines with keyboard intrusions, and a very well defined drum sound, which is quite powerful all through the album, a great attribute. Just gotta love Steve Bock’s vocals on ‘Sometimes I Wonder’, he’s got the voice just right, the whole thing coming off like a power-pop treat with a sharp attitude.
‘Feeling Better’ struts similarly to the previous track, it has a darker shade to it, and again is thrown into the power-pop category more so than any other. Providing a point of difference is the shuffly sounding ‘Strange Reason’. It has a jangly sound mostly. Good use of keys here plus a stinging solo courtesy of Frederick’s end. Heading into a heavier radio rock style is ‘Nowhere To Run’, and for me, this is where the strength of this band lay. Musically it has a Sheriff and Mayday vibe to it – that is more emphasis on guitars and less on keyboards.
Every album has one, and Nowherefast is no different. We’re talking ballads. The piano ballad ‘View Through A Tear’ is the obligatory ticket into dreamland, and is nice enough without setting the world on fire. One of the highlights for me is the pumping radio rock of ‘As I Am’, which gallops between my speakers in a dash of excitement, Naideau’s keyboards adding the Styx like touch of class.
Toward the end of the album, the pop-rock of ‘No One With Nothing‘ reminds you of The Police (who were big at the time) along with smatterings of Glass Moon and Novo Combo. Naideau gets to dabble with an array of gear, organs on one section, pomp sounding synths on another, while Fredricksen is not left out either, with a very cool solo too. The finale ‘Feelin’ Like Loving You’ has a very bottom-heavy sound, and finishes on an upbeat note, rather than any wimphem exit.
Prophetic that the band wouldn’t strike any success, not with a name like Nowherefast. One of the few Scotti Bros releases that would remain out of reach, out of earshot and eyesight for many years later.
Only Jeff Naideau would go on to further his career, by joining LA AORsters Life By Night, plus working with a ton of mainstream musos and bands such as Stan Bush, Wang Chung, Quiet Riot and Eric Burdon. He later moved to New Orleans to become immersed in that city’s musical culture – but unfortunately, Jeff passed away in 2002 from cancer.
Nowherefast should certainly be added to your collection, particularly if you are an AOR or 80’s rock fan. It’s finally nice to have written something about them in any case. On the other hand, 70’s rockers should check out Steve Bock’s earlier band Truth And Janey. Their 1976 live album ‘Erupts.’ has been reissued on Rockadrome sub-label Vintage Records.
Nowhere To Run
Feelin’ Like Loving You