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Fake Problems - How Far Our Bodies Go Album Cover

Fake Problems - How Far Our Bodies Go

Reviewed by
7.6
Fake ProblemsHow Far Our Bodies Go
Release Date: April 24, 2007
Record Label: Sabot Productions


With a touch of self-reflecting humor, Naples, Florida’s Fake Problems do two things that other bands wash away with serious faces: they poke fun at themselves and make bright compositions. Fake Problems is a serious band with real jewel cases and real tablature, but their folky, organic and fun alt-country punk mock their own while still maintaining a pretty high level of musical comprehension (see “Born & Raised”). It makes for a fresh combination and fresher listen. Like their stately sing-along neighbors Against Me!, a DIY spirit is infused at every angle and turn of How Far Our Bodies Go. I shop at Target and work for Starbucks but that fuck-you-I’ll-do-it-myself approach will always capture the young and rebellious chunk of me. We’re all kind of punk rock at heart, and How For Our Bodies Go is a testament to this principle.

Vocalist and guitarist Chris Farren started Fake Problems as a wee boy with a solo project. Recruiting high school friends, Fake Problems developed into a bigger force that is steadily bleeping on the scratchy swagger of punk rock radars. It’s understandable too; it’s hard not to like How Far Our Bodies Go. The collection doesn’t have a hard time keeping my mind span because it’s simple, special and detailed without rationing the spread. Strings, brass, organs and cigarette butts litter the grimy streets that Fake Problems stroll, and Farren flicks another unfiltered towards the gutter. His voice, smoky in sound and attitude, doesn’t try to be pretty for the sake of our feeble ears. Slower, gentler tracks like “Cold on the Soul” use Farren’s raspy verses as a tender and bittersweet vehicle, but that doesn’t last for the majority of the album. “Born & Raised,” “Maestro Of This Rebellion,” and the title track (among others) employ Farren’s ferocious and speedier alternate, a roaring phlem gargle.

The real test, of course, is if we can cut Farren out all together. Vanish the man (his cheap bottled beer too) with the mic, and will the dudes, now exposed, need the road map from the glove compartment? This, good sirs, is a crossroads in which a band can fail or proceed. Is Fake Problems clever enough without Farren? On “Life’s A Drink, Get Thirsty,” FP smirk through the waves of chugging guitars and bass. Tiny slivers of high-class flair wiggle their way inconspicuously into “Get Thirsty,” and the result is a hokey fun. “Heck Yeah Summer” is my favorite instrumentally with Ted Leo moments, and the cleanness of the acoustic strums render it confident and charming. Instead of smashing their noses into the pavement, the rest of Farren’s crew stay footed with old-country textures, string instruments, a jazzy spice, and enough clapping for a small country.

As an unfortunate turn of events, most of the hooks and clever specials leave my mind after the album runs its course. All the pieces are interesting enough – I even begin to chant along with Farren – but nothing sticks as fluently as I would assume or hope. Perhaps Fake Problems is most striking on a stage. How punk rock of them. Also on the DIY spectrum is the production, a rushed display that gives Farren and his men equal levels of shine time and an occasional analog spin (“Astronaut”). For what it is, it’s good. How Far Our Bodies Go is interesting and clever, and that’s really all I could need in relative terms. For what the production can be, there is so much more that Fake Problems could capture on recording. Please, turn me into a bohemian.

RIYLAgainst Me!, Ted Leo, Lucero, Howling Diablos, The Replacements’ Hootenanny
This review is a user submitted review from Julia Conny. You can see all of Julia Conny's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12
11:07 AM on 05/30/07
#2
Blake Solomon
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I shop at Target and work for Starbucks but that fuck-you-I’ll-do-it-myself approach will always capture the young and rebellious chunk of me. We’re all kind of punk rock at heart, and How For Our Bodies Go is a testament to this principle.


hahahah, i know exactly what you mean. I didn't like this bands last release, probably won't dig this either. But this is such a fun read, cheers!
12:45 PM on 05/30/07
#3
daniellee
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Awesome review,
I really enjoyed them when they opened for against me!
02:02 PM on 05/30/07
#4
TonyJ
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after digging through all the meanings of your metaphors i think i'd agree with this review.
02:26 PM on 05/30/07
#5
Praetor
as we melt, let's make no noise.
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Out of all the staff members, your reviews are easily the most fun to read. Props.
03:25 PM on 05/30/07
#6
AdamSocial
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Props for having good taste... a rare quality.
04:16 PM on 05/30/07
#7
Amberley
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love em'
06:38 PM on 05/30/07
#8
whyte39
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ditto, such a good listen, solid review as well
07:30 PM on 05/30/07
#9
Julia Conny
"Julia HurriConny"
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I shop at Target and work for Starbucks but that fuck-you-I’ll-do-it-myself approach will always capture the young and rebellious chunk of me. We’re all kind of punk rock at heart, and How For Our Bodies Go is a testament to this principle.


hahahah, i know exactly what you mean. I didn't like this bands last release, probably won't dig this either. But this is such a fun read, cheers!

Out of all the staff members, your reviews are easily the most fun to read. Props.

Thanks youu amigoss.
07:36 PM on 05/30/07
Julia Conny
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Props for having good taste... a rare quality.

You have good taste in hometowns. I lived in Pittsburgh for two years.
08:46 PM on 05/30/07
alexwohl29_90
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entertaining review. I like it.
06:36 PM on 06/24/07
Bob_the_sound_g
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I do sound at shows, and this band came to town and played their entire album, and boy did it blow away our local scene, it was very enjoyable, and great review, it does them all justice, i got to know them all behind the scenes and their the exact same as they are on stage, it was a riot

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