Fake Problems

Real Ghosts Caught On Tape

Written by: PP on 11/01/2011 15:08:25

Here's another release that inexplicably went beyond my line of sight in 2010. It is a rather important one, if you are to judge by the overall buzz in the music scene, and what people are saying of this band's effect on the scene at large. The band in question is Fake Problems. The reason people are going out-of-their-way in praising this band is because of how original they sound like, but yet oh-so-familiar in sound, like a breath of nostalgia to times you don't remember having; but you are sure you've experienced before. Remember the first time you heard The Gaslight Anthem re-interpret Bruce Springsteen inexplicably well on "The '59 Sound"? Well, meet the next band in line about to follow in similar path, if you are to judge by their third album "Real Ghosts Caught On Tape".

So if you take the quieter, more Bruce Springsteen oriented songs from "The '59 Sound", give them a bit of a folk-punk flavor, the result will be something like "Songs For Teenagers". The song, alongside many others on the record, shares an almost identical guitar tone to that used by Gaslight, but that's okay, because the way the songs are executed and structured is fundamentally different. Take a song like "RSVP" that has a bouncy tempo, for instance, and note how its inherent folk vibe makes it (and subsequently the whole band) sound different. But yet it carries that sense of familiarity I talked about before, most of all because the feeling and the mood of the whole album is so chilled out and relaxed, but also because of the way the band uses high-pitch gang-choirs, hand-clapping, explorative guitar playing, and many other techniques that make the songs stand out. The songs are playful, but not underwhelming. They are melodic and catchy, but not in the pop sense of the word, at least not more so than in the folk/singer-songwriter sense. Curiously enough, if you put together Against Me! from "Searching For A Former Clarity" and The Gaslight Anthem's "The '59 Sound", you're pretty close to the sound on this album.

Moreover, Fake Problems have seemingly no problem in weaving in and out of different genres seamlessly. They are fast, they are slow, they are acoustic, they have heavy, they are aggressive, they are mellow. They are all of these ideas throughout the album while maintaining coherency and consistency, and a level of songwriting most bands can only dream of one day achieving. Like another reviewer put it, "Real Ghosts Caught On Tape" is "the antidote to auto tune". And he's right: if you're looking for honest, heartfelt music, that doesn't really fit into any other genre than just "music", and that doesn't use production techniques to enhance the sound rather than relying on feeling, this album is definitely it.


Download: RSVP, The Magazines, Grand Finale, ADT
For the fans of: The Gaslight Anthem, Boom Box Repair Kit, Against Me!, Bruce Springsteen
Listen: Myspace

Release date 21.09.2010

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