Fake Problems
Real Ghosts Caught on Tape


3.0
good

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
November 14th, 2010 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fake Problems continues its shift to a more accessible and fun sound, but loses originality in the process.

It’s really incredible how quickly a landmark release can impact those up-and-coming groups that are just a brilliant inspiration or a break away from being launched into hordes of acclaim. The Gaslight Anthem’s sophomore release, The ’59 Sound has already demonstrated a vast and significant influence on the alternative and punk scene, which is especially blatant when listening to The State Lottery or Fake Problems. The latter has been quite occupied for the four years that they have been an item; releasing three full-length albums and opening for the likes of Murder by Death and The Gaslight Anthem. Fake Problems emerged as a folk-punk quartet with debut How Far Our Bodies Go; not a far cry from genre giants Against Me!, but possessing a much more polished and laissez-faire approach. The Naples, Florida natives opted for an even more refined and hook-laden sound with their sophomore effort, recalling Gaslight’s transition from Sink or Swim to The ’59 Sound. The release however, It’s Great to Be Alive, was met with mixed reviews to say the least and left Fake Problems as a relatively unknown entity without a breakthrough.

With Real Ghosts Caught On Tape, it is overly apparent that Fake Problems is still developing this glossy and accessible sound. In fact, the band’s third full-length record is even further from their folk-punk roots; almost to a point where it more comfortably placed into the indie pop classification. Musically, Fake Problems’ 2010 release is a tight and melodic endeavor; simply crafted with a steady rhythm section and tranquil leads. The emphasis of the record however, is placed on its accessibility and exuberance. Real Ghosts Caught On Tape is an attempt to capitalize on sweeping hooks and monstrous sing-alongs, which are demonstrated through choruses such as “Just tap your feet along with your heartbeat” and “And they’re not gonna be happy until everybody’s clapping along.” This unfortunately, is where the record appears to have a shallow quality; a stab at creating those soulful anthems that have been touted among their peers, but ultimately coming off as pedestrian. There is certainly an amusing characteristic about Real Ghosts Caught On Tape, but this enjoyment is watered down by a lack of replay value and underdeveloped songwriting. If the aforementioned lyrics aren’t convincing enough, lead singer Chris Farren claims “I had it all figured out then it washed away” in the record’s penultimate track.

Real Ghosts Caught On Tape is particularly frustrating because the potential is there, but Fake Problems requires a great deal of maturation before the band can explode into recognition and acclaim akin to its contemporaries. The Naples natives seem to be accumulating inspiration from the right places and will be successful if this is properly channeled. Real Ghosts Caught On Tape is a far cry from the acclaim gathered by the likes of The Gaslight Anthem and The State Lottery; an enjoyable, yet ultimately watered down record that doesn’t profit from on its simplicity.



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user ratings (47)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
November 15th 2010


6088 Comments


hey i think i can still review...idk maybe


album is good but grew off me quite a bit

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2010


17222 Comments


your orgcore pass just got revoked.

EVedder27
November 15th 2010


6088 Comments


: (

PuddlesPuddles
November 15th 2010


4784 Comments


On the surface, it seems this tries a bit too hard.

Ya know?

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2010


10494 Comments


mike where have your reviews been this was pleasant

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2010


17222 Comments


I like this more than The State Lottery.

Satellite
November 15th 2010


20822 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review mike. i definitely understand where you're coming from with this review, but i personally find this to be FP's best to date.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuZ2UDyBueA

cvlts
November 15th 2010


8967 Comments


been meaning to check this out

Romulus
November 15th 2010


8441 Comments


great to see you reviewing again, pos'd and i think i'll steer clear of this one

Nagrarok
November 15th 2010


8259 Comments


An EVedder review, it's been too long. Where have you been Mike?

EVedder27
November 15th 2010


6088 Comments


Thanks all, I've had a ton of work this semester and I just applied to grad school, so there hasn't been much time for reviewing. Plus I didn't have a computer for the past 4 weeks.

Ponton
Emeritus
November 15th 2010


5803 Comments


I saw this on one of your lists, and I'll definitely try the highlights out on youtube

good review mike!

Eskate87
November 15th 2010


959 Comments


i was just giving this a quick listen last night. it has its moments but didnt really capture my attention. good review btw.

tom79
November 15th 2010


3376 Comments


Seeing these guys with the Menzingers and the Flatliners next month. Their debut was alright, I might get this. Nice review man.

Digging: Wil Wagner - Laika

AggravatedYeti
November 15th 2010


7685 Comments


he returns!!

Spec
November 15th 2010


27188 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They caught real ghosts on tape????

BigTuna
November 15th 2010


5160 Comments


orgcore orgcore orgcore orgcore orgcore

Digging: Yellowcard - Lift a Sail

Gerbilman
November 15th 2010


10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, but I disagree with some of your points. Whereas this probably isn't their best album (It's Great to be Alive being one of my all time favourites), I don't think it is the lyrics which let down this album. I reckon it is the predictability of some of the songs. All the songs have the same structure and the guitar sound is similar throughout.

EVedder27
November 15th 2010


6088 Comments


Thanks guys.

Tyler, that video was amazing.

I see where you're coming from Gerbilman, my opinion is probably based on the predictability and the lyrics. I can tolerate one or the other being mediocre, but together kind of destroys it for me. Not to say there aren't highlights though.

BigHans
November 15th 2010


26454 Comments


whoa he's back



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