Monday, October 11, 2010


Fake Problems
Real Ghosts Caught On Tape
Side One Dummy

The best thing about Fake Problems, the thing that really sets them apart, is frontman Chris Farren's religion-referencing mental battles with guilt and excess, and heaven and hell. The dude hangs it all out there. And even when he's down, you're tapping your feet and humming along.

"And they're not gonna be happy 'til everybody's clapping along..."

Fake Problems' sound is hard to place. Like a nerdier, introverted, indie-pop take on early, folk-punk Gaslight Anthem. And even then, they never stick to formula, venturing off into Vampire Weekend, Surfer Blood territory, mixing dark and thoughtful lyrics with happy-go-lucky riffs and hypnotic grooves.

"The first time it felt like I was gonna die, but I've gotten pretty good at telling myself it's fine..."

But whatever Fake Problems is up to, Farren's Gerard Way-tinged, insecure twang retains that familiar "Fake Problems sound." From Surfer-Blood-meets-SeƱor-and-the-Queen slower song "The Magazines," to the hipster indie grooves of "5678" (which goes well with It's Great to Be Alive opener "1234").

It's only album number three and it's been a constant evolution. From more straight-forward, folk-punk beginnings to the experimental growth and expansion heard on It's Great to Be Alive (2009) and the less-country, more Afro-pop, surf-rock-soaked Real Ghosts Caught On Tape.

It's more accessible than usual. But again, Fake Problems come off sincere and extremely likable.

Official website
Fake Problems on MySpace
Side One Dummy

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