Most discerning punks considered Fake Problems to be just one of many Against Me! clones that sprouted up following that band's 2002 debut, Reinventing Axl Rose. It didn't help that the two bands were both originally from Naples, Florida, or that both released records on indie label Sabot Productions. (Against Me! even took Fake Problems on tour once.) But where AM! chose the ultimately doomed major-label path, Fake Problems instead aligned itself with SideOneDummy, a label best known for its annual Warped Tour compilations. This year's Real Ghosts Caught on Tape is a distinct departure from the band's previously raucous folk-punk style, meshing influences as disparate as Modest Mouse, Brand New and even Blink-182 into some seriously catchy (and rootsy) pop-rock jams. Exhibit A: Lead single "Soulless," which features former Arrested Development cast members Alia "Maeby" Shawkat and Mae "Ann" Whitman singing its infectious chorus.
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