The first thing I noticed about this band was the fact their press release said A.J. Mogis produced them; it also said that he produced Bright Eyes and Cursive. Straight away I knew this band could be very good, and I wasn’t wrong! Fake Problems‘ new album It’s Great to be Alive is an array of instruments put together to make a great folk/punk/indie album. Working with A.J. definitely pulled off!
The album kicks off with 1234, which is short and sweet at only 73 seconds long. It’s a great opener that kicks the album off to a great pace. It has brass instruments, what sounds like a xylophone and a catchy chorus, what more do you want from an album opener? It then continues into The Dream Team which is even catchier and has an easily singalongable chorus. The bridge even has a cowbell and clapping, with that you can’t help but sing along.
A few of the songs have religious undertones to them and other lyrical content brings a really nice traditional quality to the band. Everything seems to have a certain groove about it, which will surely be filling the dance floors. Sometimes the band ditches their orchestral amount of instruments and goes back to good old humming, although it might sound odd written down it works well with the music. One more thing about this band that impresses me is how short some of the songs are, a lot of the time bands like to extend their songs with egotistic build-ups to choruses and long bridges instead of just cutting to the chase and delivering the music. Fake Problems definitely do deliver.
Fake Problems definitely seem to have mastered how to write a good catchy song and make it their own. Upon listening to older songs on their myspace I can tell how much they’ve evolved musically, going from more generic indie songs into a genre of their own, no double-barrelled word can sum up this band! If you are a fan of folk/punk/blues/indie/rock anything with anthemic quality then It’s Great to be Alive is the album for you.
They use instruments in their plenitude, guitars, drums, trumpets, trombones, saxophones, xylophones, violins, organs, if you can think of an instrument it’s probably used on here. This album is definitely in a league of its own against its competitors and I’m sure the effort will pay off. It’s uplifting, catchy, innovative, original and fresh, what more could you really ask for?