Friday, August 12, 2011

Real Ghosts Caught On Tape - Fake Problems (Review)


Fake Problems have created quite the name for themselves. They are respected for there creativity in the majority of their songs. Their new album, "Real Ghosts Caught On Tape", is a step away from their other more expiremental music. This album lives up to most of the anticipation, but in a way that wasn't expected from me. This album marks a tremendous step forward in maturity. Most of all the humor that was on previous albums is gone.This creates a whole new vibe in Fake Problem's music.

The first song is "ADT". The chorus in this song is very catchy. It's lyrics are quite memorable, so this makes for a good sing along song. The main guitar riff is also one of the most memorable riffs on the entire album. This was probably an obvious choice for an opener because it sets up the album quite perfectly.

After that comes "5678" You would think this would have something to do with It's Great To Be Alive's "1234", but it has nothing to do with it lyrically or musicly. This is the one song that seems to drift from the constant sound of the rest of the album. That is neither a bad thing or a good thing It just doesn't sound like the rest of the album, which makes it stand out a bit. This is another very catchy tune. I had this song stuck in my head for a while.

Next is "Songs For Teenagers". This is a slightly softer track than the rest of the album. It has some pretty cool percussion in parts of it. This song focuses less on the on the catchy aspect of the past two songs, and it focuses more on the songwriting aspect. It succeeds as a great song. This song enforces my thought on maturity. Although you can still hear some aspects of the band's previous albums, this song has moved so much further than that.

"RSVP" starts a run of six or seven songs of the same feel. They are all fun songs with many hooks. This song consists of a simple Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus structure. The bridge is very nice. It is a bit short but  adds a the best twenty seconds of the song. And that leads back into the chorus. This is a simple, but very nice song.

"Soulless" is the most well known track on the album, and is most likely the most known song by the band. This was an excellent choice for a single. Down the road, this is what Fake Problems will probably be remembered by. It almost sounds like motown meets punk rock. It is not often you hear girl back-up vocals in a punk band. I thought this was very cool.

The song "Complain Dept." carries the same theme and overall sound as the rest of the album. It is a great track, which all of them are, but there really is nothing to say different about it than all the rest of the songs on the album. I will say it again, and probably many more times. It is a catchy, straight-forward indie/punk song.

The next song is "Done With Fun". This one stands out from the rest of them. Although it is the same style of music as the rest of the album, it seems that the verses put a lot more emphasis on a sound that almost seems like it is aimed at being a somewhat tropical theme. It has sort of a vacation style vibe. The lead guitar is what makes it seems "tropical". They are driving throughout the whole song and really seem to stand out in the song.

"The Magazines" seems to have a slightly slower and more sad feel to it. From what I get out of it, it is about the narrator (Chris Farren) becoming slightly well-known and rising to become a small "rockstar". He seems a tad dissapointed with it. It seems he is discontent and unsure about how people seem to know so much about him, yet he doesn't know a thing about them. I always seem to listen to "Magazines" whenever I listen to "Done With Fun" and vise versa for some reason. I always picture these two together as one song.

The song after that is "White Lies". "White Lies" has a very unfamiliar sound. It seems to slightly drift from the rest of the album, while maintaining the happy up-beat feel. The main lead guitar riff in this song is fantastic. It always manages to get stuck in my head. Casey Lee always manages to break out some cool lead guitar parts.

"Grand Finale" is one of the greatest songs Fake Problems have ever released. It is epic from start to finish. I can easily say this is the best on the record, and most likely their best overall. The first half of the song is a driving rock song. About half way through the song, it falls into a breakdown. The breakdown is a build that leads to tremendous heights. The build takes up about the whole second half of this five minute song, until it rips back into the rockin' chorus. The lyrics are extremely well writen, as well as the music itself.

"Ghost To Coast" takes it down a notch for the closure. Very soft and slow song. It is almost depressing, in a good way though (if that makes any sense). The is the biggest piece of evidence showing maturity yet. It seems wierd that the same band that wrote "Born and Raised" (which I love), wrote this (which I also love). This is such a massive step forward for them. I am not so sure as this song's inclusion, though. Although this song is great, I strongly believe "Grand Finale" would have worked a lot better as the closing track. I understand where they are coming from chosing this, I just think "Grand Finale" is a better choice.

Although this album is fantastic, it is not what I hoped for Fake Problems. I understand maturity is good, but I also understand that half of Fake Problems' charm was their humor. I am really in between whether I feel the maturity is what I wanted, or if the humor is what I wanted. I guess I am on both sides. I can see both arguements. One thing I noticed about this album is that the drum's seem soulless (Pun intended). It seems as if the drummer is just drumming as a job. I cannot feel the heart in the drums on this record at all. Another thing I must note is that the lead guitar is what keeps this album alive for the most part. Although this album may seem a tad repetitive, I see it as they are repeating something fantastic. All issues aside, I believe this is a very strong album front to back.

Highlights : Soulless, Done With Fun, Grand Finale

Music : 7.5 (Good enough!)
Lyrics : 6 (Meh, not the highlight for the most part, but not bad)
Artwork : 8.5 (Fits the "tropical" or "summer" theme PERFECTLY)

Overall : 7.5

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