Fake Problems

It's Great To Be Alive

Written by: PP on 15/02/2009 18:33:28

The second half of this decade has seen the rise of folk-influenced punk bands, masterminded of course by none other than Tom Gabel & co in Against Me!, who brought the mainstream media attention into the scene, consequently spawning a number of new bands to the scene. Fake Problems is one of those bands, and they're already on their third release with "It's Great To Be Alive", about to be unleashed in just a few days.

Basically, these guys play folk punk with a bunch of indie rock influences in their acoustically driven music, integrating traditional rhythms, weird percussion and 'gypsy' instruments (at least that's what they sound like) into their music. Vocalist Chris Farren sounds like he's been heavily influenced by the Modest Mouse singer based on his drunken, somewhat harsh vocal delivery, while the rest of the band are reciting early Against Me! material with their own quirky touch. There's even an occasional nod towards The Hold Steady whenever the band brings additional instruments to the mix, which gets my stamp of approval right away. But most of all, these guys sound like Against Me!: "Diamond Rings" is basically a Fake Problems version of Against Me!'s "Stop", and whether or not you'll like that will depend entirely on your opinion of the latest Against Me! record.

When Fake Problems are at their best, they'll have you dancing and clapping along to the music, and even singing along during the catchiest moments ("Don't Worry Baby" being a good example). But occasionally the band gets a little bit too folksy for my tastes ("The Heaven & Hell Cotillition"), and the strange mix of horns and percussion to the gypsy-punk rhythms gets to be a bit too much unless you're seriously into this scene. Still, "It's Great To Be Alive" isn't bad by any means, it's just not really my cup of tea, that's all.

Download: Don't Worry Baby, You're A Serpent You're A She-Snake
For the fans of: Against Me!, Modest Mouse, The Hold Steady
Listen: Myspace

Release date 17.02.2009

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