Fake Problems

Fake Problems sounds like a baby Bruce Springsteen backed by The Against Me! Street Band, and we mean that in the best possible way. From the first time we saw them on a 2009 weeknight at Walter's on Washington — on a quiet Monday no less — we sat stunned and enraptured that such big sounds could come from such a small band. They were touring behind that year's It's Great to Be Alive, which included some of the most Boss-y breakdowns this side of Born to Run. Lead singer Chris Farren is easily Against Me!'s Tom Gabel's mini-doppelganger, all throaty growl and death grip guitar lines. Besides the guitars out front and the occasional brass, the biggest draw is those mammoth, galloping drums, which seemed to be miked up like a second lead singer. Last year's Real Ghosts on Tape got funky, etching some of the band's road stories into their bedrock sound, with Farren's vocals somehow getting velvety and Marc Bolan-ish along the way. God bless truck-stop record racks.


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