Fake Problems – Spurs & Spokes (CD)

Fake Problems – Spurs & Spokes / Bull > Matador / 2006 Sabot / 8 Tracks / http://www.fakeproblems.com / http://www.sabotproductions.net / Reviewed 20 January 2007

I was worried for a little bit. The opening of “Spurs & Spokes” sounds a lot like classic country, but it is only a few seconds before the band moves into a Mojo Nixon bit of bouncy country punk. During “Motion of Ocean’, Fake Problems make an energetic brand of music that has ties to Latterman and None More Black even as they wear their cowboy hats. “Motion of Ocean” is a solid opening for this extended EP, and with the ending of this track, individuals will feel that anything is possible with Fake Problems. Blending together a multiplicity of styles in just one track, individuals will still draw a blank on what there is to expect for Fake Problems with the seven other tracks on the disc.

It seems with this release (and others released in 2006), that Sabot is replacing No Idea for bands that are on the cutting edge of punk music. The disco beat of “Heat on the Feet” show that Fake Problems have no limits to the genres or styles that they can present to their listeners on this EP. The presence of the bass during “Heat on the Feet” makes the track, and while the vocals are the same desperate and intense style that they are during “Motion of Ocean”, the overall output is much different during this track. “Oh, Your Silver Heart” is a track that sounds as if it would start off a dance from the early sixties, but one begins to get the feeling that Fake Problems will burst into a much faster tempo soon after. “Sorry OK Sorry OK Sorry” is a track that moves more into the Against Me! camp but luckily for listeners of Fake Problems, the vocals are much less annoying than they would be on “As The Eternal Cowboy”.

To be honest, the second “side” of this EP (called “Bull > Matador”) does not sound too terribly different from “Spurs and Spokes”. Both sides bring a countrified punk rock band to the fore, albeit with the influences active in each track changing. The band gives listeners a lot of material to listen to with this EP, but I still want a fuller LP (fourteen or so songs) which I could jam in my car’s CD changer and zone out to for thirty or forty minutes. I am glad to know that a band like Fake Problems still exists in the current music scene.

Top Tracks: Heat On The Feet, Cannonball

Rating: 7.3/10

[JMcQ]

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