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Fake Problems
Real Ghosts Caught On Tape
SideOneDummy Records
9/10

Fake Problems upcoming 3rd album, Real Ghosts Caught on Tape is perhaps their best release to date. Ghosts is able to take the best attributes from each of their previous releases and put them together in such a way that this album has already made my top 10 list for year despite there being a solid 3 months left of releases to look forward to. It has the musical simplicity of Spurs and Spokes/ Bull >Matador, the energy of It’s Great to Be Alive and the lyrical prowess of How Far Our Bodies Go. However, before I go any further I want to state that the lyrics on Alive are pretty amazing. I just happen to prefer Bodies as far as lyrics go.

Ghosts, from start to finish, has such a level of energy that it grabs the listener by the balls and won’t let go.  The album itself starts out with perhaps one of the strongest tracks it has to offer, “ADT”, which I feel is a solid move. It lets the listener know what to expect from the rest of the album by the setting the bar high right off the bat. The song is so catchy you might end up pressing repeat a few times before you actually make your way through the whole album.

The overall sound the band has crafted on Ghosts is much different than that of their previous efforts. Gone are the strings and horns that could be found throughout the two previous releases. Stripped down to the basics Fake Problems has to rely solely on their own musicianship and quite frankly, they don’t disappoint. The band really lets go and rocks out, especially on tracks such as “Grand Finale” and “RSVP”.

My only serious complaint is vocalist Chris Farren’s use of falsetto vocals, which can be found on the track “5678”. I had the same problem with the band’s previous release and the track “Diamond Rings”. This is not to say that I hate falsetto vocals in general, just whenever they’re used on a Fake Problems record. However, fans of falsetto vocals everywhere will be impressed at Chris’ ability to use them.

Despite that one small setback the album is guaranteed to please and is a record that should be picked up the day it comes out if you haven’t already pre-ordered it.

-Armando Olivas