Weekly Wire
Austin Chronicle Interstate 20/20

NOVEMBER 16, 1998: 

20/20

Interstate (Oglio)

If you've ever been stuck driving for a number of hours with nothing but Classic Rock stations to choose from (and who hasn't?), it can be hard to keep from entering certain knee-jerk responses into your permanent memory bank; for instance, "The Eagles Are Satan." However, if you're going to write about music for a living, inevitably you've got to remind yourself that not everything that sounds like it would play well in an arena is inherently evil. Take Interstate 20/20, for example. Everything here just sounds so ... big! The album comes across as nothing less than a greatest hits collection from some huge act that your hometown DJs inexplicably didn't play. Twenty years in, these power pop heroes have created a booming soundtrack for a cross-country rock trip that sounds like Hotel California if Randy Newman, Nick Lowe, and Graham Parker had been called in to help with the songwriting. There are some cracks in the faultline -- it's easy to slip into the "Who is it?" game (ummm, "Cool White Laura" is Tom Petty circa '78, right?), but Interstate never actually lapses into the derivative. In fact, this time, you won't mind the time behind the wheel at all.

3.5 Stars-- Ken Lieck


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