Fake Problems/You Blew It! – Florida Doesn’t Suck
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Record Label: Topshelf
Florida can’t be that bad. At the very least, it can’t be any worse than some of the states I had to drive through this past summer on my way to Los Angeles. I mean, I’ve only been to the state twice in my lifetime, so I’m probably not the best judge, but I enjoyed myself there. Sure, the state has its bath salt-fueled “zombie” attacks, the Jacksonvilee Jaguars, and the inability to efficiently tally votes, but every state has it own special set of flaws. It’s worth noting that Florida is also home to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, extremely tall journalists, and two of the most underrated bands in punk rock today – Fake Problems and You Blew It!
The two punk groups are out to prove that Florida isn’t the worst and the four-song split they produced (two songs each) is a step in the right direction. It’s no secret that I love to champion these bands on the site as well as my twitter page, so I’m extremely pleased that the tracks lived up to my standards for each band. Fake Problems open up with the deliciously catchy “Small Devil Song,” a raucous sing-along that’s reminiscent of Kevin Devine’s best work. Bassist Derek Perry and drummer Sean Stevenson provide the toe-tapping beat while vocalist Chris Farren gives the song its playful edge (“I am powerful/so much more than you”). “Gone Before Dawn” is a sprawling mid-tempo jam that features some fantastic guitar work from Farren. It’s more auditory proof that Fake Problems is building off the sound it cultivated on 2010’s fantastic Real Ghosts Caught On Tape.
Following up Fake Problems’ side of this split would be tough sleddin’ for most bands, but You Blew It! steps up to the challenge and knocks it out of the park. They reintroduce themselves with a collision of cymbals and distortion on the bleak “Batavia, NY.” It’s quite the contrast from side A, as Tanner Jones states, “I can’t pretend that everyone here is actually my friend” over the persistent clash of Timothy Flynn’s drumming. The band perks up on the infectious “I’m A Kid, That’s My Job.” Jones and Andy Anaya’s guitar work give the song its chaotic spark – leaving listeners with what may be the band’s best song to date. The production is still similar to what we heard on Grow Up, Dude, but I still claim that it just wouldn’t have that specific charm if it had that slick production. No matter how you feel on that issue, you cannot deny that You Blew It! is continually improving its songwriting with each release.
You couldn’t have better state ambassadors than Fake Problems and You Blew It!, as the two bands prove that the music from the Sunshine State doesn’t suck. The four-song Florida Doesn't Suck pairs two bands with unique styles and results in what is probably going to be your favorite 7" of 2013. Book your upcoming vacation accordingly.