Fake Problems - Spurs and Spokes/ Bull > Matador
Record Label: Sabot Productions
Release Date: 11/07/06
What was originally planned to be a solo project for the band's frontman, Chris Farren, Fake Problems has evolved into a full-fledged band from Naples, Florida (just four hours away from Gainsville); the scene which spawned Against Me! and Hot Water Music. Constant tour logging and a consistent release of EP's and singles have lead the band up to the re-release of one of their EPs plus four tracks off of their self-released debut CD.
How Is It?
This compilation of songs by Fake Problems should be viewed in two distinctly different lights, as outlined by the back of the CD tray: the first four tracks are the bands previously released Spurs and Spokes EP, and the last four are choice tracks from their self-released debut Bull > Matador. The first four tracks, the ones off of the EP, are significantly stronger than the later ones, combining a decent knack for country musicianship with a well developed punk sense. The band combine the sounds of their scene brethren Against Me! with Hot Water Music, creating a CD that is just a little bit country, just a little bit punk. "Motion of the Ocean" is a fast moving alt-country track in the vein of "Another Travellin Song" by Bright Eyes. The rest of the first four tracks are a mixture of more punk and more country, fueling increasingly close relations to Hot Water Music. The second half of this CD, the choice cuts from their out-of-print debut, are slightly weaker, exhibiting more raucous punk tendencies, and it tends to blend in with the rest of punk out there.
The glaring strength of Fake Problems is Farren's lyrics. They are introspective and social, somewhat in the vein of Conor Obersts' young projects. Songs like "cannonball" are mostly socially oriented, with Farren reporting on the state of a society; he does this well, although not as well as some of his elders. However, in the face of meaningless lyrics that flood every scene, Farren is a talented writer. An example of this are the last lines of "cannonball," when Farren half-yells, in the vein of Against Me!, "We have stepped over God/'cuz he just gets in the way." Fake problems are talented, and if you're into that country-punk sound, you might want to check them out.
Socio-Punk Never Gets Old: Hot Water Music, that band that's in your local scene and plays shows all the time but nobody listens to them because they aren't hot but are actually one of the best bands to hit that small local stage, Against Me!