Fake Problems are a Florida four-piece that haven’t put out an album since 2010’s Real Ghosts Caught on Tape. According to internet lore, the band recorded a follow-up with esteemed producer Ted Hutt but didn’t feel right about the way the collection of songs turned out. It wasn’t cohesive enough to be an album. Research taught me all that stuff, but listening to Antarcticgo Vespucci’s new album Leavin La Vida Loca is what got me interested in Fake Problems in the first place. That impressive debut from Chris Farren’s side-project duo with non-Fake Problems member Jeff Rosenstock got me hooked on Farren’s songwriting, and subsequently interested in his hiatus-stranded Florida punk quartet.
Little did I know that hiatus would come to an end several days later, when we premiered a long lost Fake Problems track called “Holy Attitude.” It’s one of the best songs of the week, and it arrives backed with “Can You Live With That?” — a song that’s almost its polar opposite. (This 7-inch is the first in an ongoing series of split releases called Strange Emotions.) “Holy Attitude” is meditative and spare, but “Can You Live With That?” is a sprawling, over-the-top bid at revved-engine surf-rock; there’s a hint of rockabilly in the reeling guitar solos, a smidge of Brit-pop in the sing-a-long “whoaaas.” It’s basically the jagged, Florida punk version of “Wipe Out” that’s a lyrical negative to a love-conquers-all anthem. And like everything else this dude is involved with, it’s completely awesome. Listen.
Strange Emotions: Holy Attitude is out today. Get the 7-inch here.