When an album opens with the phrase: “you are the one, two, three, four / you are the single notes, in every chord…” you know you’re about to go on a ride that is musically meta. Fake Problems, and their 2009 album It’s Great To Be Alive are going to take you there.
The lead singer’s voice is unique and enjoyable. A little raspy and rough around the edges, but not unapologetic. I can imagine him saying “yeah, I could have a better singing voice, but you’re still listening, aren’t you?” The music the influences of the earlier part of last decade – the driving drum beats set forth by Modest Mouse, Jet, and Franz Ferdinand, with deep, grunge guitars. At times the album goes above and beyond the calls of indie rock, as in the third track, You’re a Serpent, You’re a She-Snake, which ends with near operatic grandiose. The album is at times influenced by everything from polka, to ska, to songs that remind me of Irish folk singing.
The album never gets dull in the middle, each song is different enough from the last that I always enjoy hearing what’s going to unfold next. Although a lot of people may be turned off by the vocalist, I really enjoy It’s Great To Be Alive and think you should at least listen to a couple of tracks before you judge it!