A Band to listen to Fake Problems – Real Ghosts Caught on Tape review

Fake Problems may not be that well known but they have released three studio albums and have a very loyal fan base.

There are many reasons why people haven’t heard a lot about them and that could be because their first two albums weren’t anywhere near mainstream and it was difficult to put them in a genre to even find them. They have been described before as an alternative country indie rock band with a punk influence, how many people would really be searching for these bands and can they even be found? Well, Fake Problems latest album, ‘Real Ghosts Caught On Tape’ is slightly more mainstream but it is still a mixture of punk folk, pop punk and country music so this is certainly where the problems lie, but if you get a chance to listen to them, I would definitely recommend them, especially on a sunny day as they have a very fun melody that makes you nod your head and tap your feet. It is a great summer album and has a retro feel to it and reminds me a lot of 60s music, in particular the song, ‘Soulless’ which has a lot of energy and a bouncy feel to it.

What sets Fake Problems apart are the lyrics to most of their songs because they are very catchy but if you actually listen to them they have quite a sad message to them, the song, ‘Songs For Teenagers’ is a perfect example of this as it is basically about nights that have been wasted and being hungover, combined with thoughts about suicide and drugs. Another praise I would make about the lyrics is that they are clearly personal to the lead singer but he makes them more than just about himself so it is not just like listening to a story of his life. The final song on the album is one of the few with a melancholy feel to it and ‘Ghost to Coast’ is a slow tempo track to finish off a fantastic album. But, going back to the beginning of the album and in ‘ADT’ it is clear that they are very good musicians with a great drummer and guitarist who play off each other and are intertwined brilliantly, ‘Complaint Dept’ and ‘Done With Fun’ also show this off. ‘ADT’ and ‘5678’ are probably the two songs that I enjoy the most because they are both very catchy tracks and simply just get you in a good mood just by listening to them.

Older fans of Fake Problems may not like this album as it is very different to their earlier entries but they must have expected it as all of their albums are quite different to each other, but if you are looking for some new music and something that isn’t as fixed to a certain style then Fake Problems are the band for you, as they do feel like a breath of fresh air when you first listen to them and they do have songs that you will replay over and over again.

 

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Train – California 37 album review

Train may not be the biggest band in the world and may not be well known to a lot of people but I am sure that nearly everyone will remember their hits, ‘Drops of Jupiter’ and ‘Hey, Soul Sister’.

California 37 is only the second Train album to reach the top 10 in the UK album charts

So what will their latest album, ‘California 37’ give us? In my opinion it could well be my favourite album of 2012 and this was quite surprising to me because I wouldn’t exactly say that it was my style of music but there is just something about it. Beginning with its opener ‘This’ll Be My Year’ which is basically a run through of Train’s career plus including things that everyone knows about for example in the year 1989 they reference the start of ‘The Simpsons’ and contains one of my favourite lines, ‘I stopped believing although Journey told me don’t.’ Some people won’t like these sorts of lyrics but to me it is clever.

This is just one of a number of references throughout the album including everything from Justin Bieber to WWE wrestler The Undertaker. Nearly every song is catchy enough to make you listen to it, just from the actual sounds like the bounciness, quick strumming and slight reggae style to ‘Drive By’ but then you realise what the lyrics are actually saying and it makes you want to listen to it even more. The stuttering vocal hook in this song also helps and works perfectly for this song.

The next song that really caught my attention was ’50 Ways to Say Goodbye’ which is a song that is more pop but you definitely won’t find many pop songs like this. ‘She was caught in a mudslide, eaten by a lion’ are very good lyrics and you couldn’t imagine One Direction or any other pop bands singing anything like this.

For new fans of Train this album would be a perfect place to start as they will getting a feeling of where they have came from and will enjoy the slight changes in all of their previous albums and for older fans it shouldn’t disappoint, although they may not like the move away from rock as at times it drifts more towards country than anything else in particular the song ‘Bruises’ featuring Ashley Monroe. But this is a convincing attempt at a regular conversation between two old friends and is written brilliantly as it doesn’t seem to be staged so it could get Train even more fans from a different genre.

There are still elements of their older stuff with, ‘Feels Good at First’ a more gentle acoustic song and ‘We Were Made for This’ starting out soft and then turning into early Train stuff and then finally ending the album on ‘When The Fog Rolls In’. I can imagine these three songs being long term Train fans favourites.

Also ‘You Can Finally Meet My Mom’ has a similar style to ‘Drops of Jupiter’ with it having the piano sound to it. The reference in it ‘Even Bieber ain’t forever’ just makes me laugh and the lead singers voice is really easy to listen to as it has its own character. It is such an easy album to listen to and the changes from country to rock are comfortably done so it never seems like the band are out of their depth. However, saying that, the song ‘California 37’ is awful and I really don’t see the point in it but other than that I could listen to this album over and over again.