Ultimate Fakebook - Open Up And Say Awesome (Cover Artwork)

Ultimate Fakebook

Ultimate Fakebook: Open Up And Say AwesomeOpen Up And Say Awesome (2002)
Initial Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5

Contributed by: greg0rbgreg0rb
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Ultimate Fakebook are a rock threesome out of Kansas who will most likely have you singing falsetto, playing air guitar until you sweat, and drumming hard on your steering wheel (or any near object) in no time. Editor Scott and I have had many a discussion about this band since he thinks they suck,.
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Ultimate Fakebook are a rock threesome out of Kansas who will most likely have you singing falsetto, playing air guitar until you sweat, and drumming hard on your steering wheel (or any near object) in no time. Editor Scott and I have had many a discussion about this band since he thinks they suck, but I will present my side of things here.

This album starts out with the up-tempo rocker "Wrestling Leap Year." The drums pound out a beat, riding on the floor tom, and the vocals have a cool spacey effect on them. With 90% of the songs off "This Will Be Laughing Week" having Bill McShane's great falsetto in them, I was on the lookout for it and sure enough he delivers midway through the song. Damn I love falsetto when it's done well like this.

A stand out track would be "Before You Leave," an up-tempo straight-ahead rock song, with a guitar solo by Stephen Egerton of Descendents and ALL fame in the middle of it (this was recorded at The Blasting Room, by the way). "Goddamn Dance Craze" is a toe-tapper, with a cool guitar riff in the intro. "Popscotch Party Rock," is a great song too. It has a sweet pitch bend keyboard thing in the intro, group vocals, and cock-rock style guitar solos through out, a great closer to the album.

There are a few weak tracks, like "Forever, Forever" which isn't helped by Get Up Kids' James making a guest appearance on keyboards- not his fault really since the keyboards are barely audible. Despite it being in my favorite meter (6/8), this track is a ballad, and even though the variety is nice these guys should just stick to the rockers or else make the ballads better. "Girl, Here's Another Lie" is another softer track and it has some more great falsetto singing in it, but it is only decent. "Red Elbows" is another ballad that could be skipped. Now I think of it, this album has too many of these mediocre tracks. At least none of them are as bad as "Million Hearts Dance" from "This Will Be Laughing Week."

"Combat Fatigue" is another song that is supposed to have keyboards by James in it, but I can barely pick them out. But then again, I always thought the keyboards were too soft on the Get Up Kids' "Something to write Home About" as well. Matt Pryor, also from the Get Up Kids, adds some nice backing vocals to this same track.

The guys in Ultimate Fakebook all grew up listening to 80's pop and hair metal, and the influences are evident in their style. Bill McShane has a voice unlike any I've heard before. It is nothing weird or annoying in any way, I just can't seem to think of any other singer who sounds like him. It fits the music very well, and his falsetto singing...did I mention his falsetto singing? It's sweet, I could have used more of it though. Nick Colby is a good bass player, but I feel he doesn't get enough of the spotlight especially on this album. A lot of the energy from this album comes from Eric Melin, who obviously drums incredibly hard.

These guys don't take themselves real seriously musically or lyrically, they are just having a good time rocking out, and I hear that they have a great live show with lights, smoke, and over-the-top rock moves. If you liked their first two albums, you will like "Open Up and Say Awesome." It is not quite as good as "This Will Be Laughing Week" because of the abundance of mediocre songs, but it is still a good listen. Dammit though, I wanted to be able to give this album a ten to piss off Scott. Oh well, maybe with their next album.

The Scheme To Listen No More
Inside Me, Inside You
When I'm With You, I'm OK

When I'm With You, I'm OK
Forever, Forever
Inside Me, Inside You


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (December 19, 2002)

Umm, yeah. "He's a Whore" is a Cheap Trick song. Big Black covered it. There's a whole bunch of music that came out before 1988 - you should try and check it out.

xkattx (October 30, 2002)

ultimate fakebook rocks me. oh yeah.

i've had the privilege of seeing the guys play down in south florida. awesome shows. bill's singing and guitar playing... nick's AWESOME bass playing... and eric's head-banging drum playing. oh so great.

can't wait to see the guys play again.

BethanyAnne (May 25, 2002)

i've seen ultimate fakebook many many times and have never been disappointed. in fact, i've always left with a good feeling, like i just ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
"open up and say awesome" is the ultimate underwear dance cd. you put in on and dance in your undies around your bedroom.

Anonymous (May 13, 2002)

I am from Kansas, maybe I should start a band. It seems every band out of Kansas gets a label. Especially Vagrant bands. Get up Kids, Reggie and the Full Effect, Hey Mercedes, Ultimate Fakebook, who's next?

Anonymous (May 6, 2002)

UFB rocks ever since electric kissing parties they are good and always will be good and you people who classify them is punk u r wrong because they are in the category of power pop if u know anything about bands

incetardis (May 6, 2002)

to the guy who complained about the 80s cliches:

thanks a lot!! ; )

Anonymous (May 5, 2002)

The Gin Blossoms were awesome indeed. Doug Hopkins was a fucking genius.

Anonymous (May 4, 2002)

gin blossoms fuckin rule

sickboi (May 4, 2002)

Yuck... The lead singer sounds like he's missing his testes. Why do all these bands sound like pussies these days? What happened to having a little attitude? Jesus-fucking-Christ, they sound like the Gin Blossoms or something.

Anonymous (May 1, 2002)

sir, not sire

Anonymous (May 1, 2002)

"jumpin' on the living room's table and shoutin' "here i go again" or "rock n roll is gonna set the night on fire" makes me feel more alive than coded messages in slowed down songs! "

to whoever wrote that, I wrote the earlier comments complaining about the 80s cliches. After reading your comments, as far as i'm concerned, you sire, are alright.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

i was gonna write a review to this but never got around to it oh well...you did a good job with it. overall i'd have to agree that its not as good as their older stuff particularly electric kissing parties, but its still a great album that has me singing along everytime. and yes his falsetto is great.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

big black was punk as fuck.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

This album was a huge letdown as This Will Be Laughing Week is one of my favorite poprock records ever. I saw them a few weeks ago and they put on an amazing live show. I was sitting off to the side kinda bored and waiting for ALL when about halfway through their set they played He's A Whore by Big Black. Any band that covers Big Black deserves your undying respect. Plus they had the rock box. They finished the set with Alex Chilton by the Replacements (and some sexy backup singers) Anyways, their rock sign schtick seems like it would be really lame, but I get a kick out of it because they're such losers. Anyways, you guys should go find This Will Be Laughing Week. Download Little Apple Girl, it's one of my favorites.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

oh well. UF are okay, so what. BUT: 80's metal is one of the coolest things around.

jumpin' on the living room's table and shoutin' "here i go again" or "rock n roll is gonna set the night on fire" makes me feel more alive than coded messages in slowed down songs!


no, just kidding... it's just that i DID listen to 80s metal stuff back then. it's okay, cause i turned over to hardcore by the end of the decade. that's progress. but i still enjoy those ridiculous songs and have a great time rocking out to them. it's fun. and so think UF, so i think it's okay...

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

Wow these guys DO suck. I went to the streaming audio page and I couldnt even sit one entire song. I was hoping for more.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

what's up with all the cheesy 80s metal "we just wanna rock!" referencing going on these days? 80's metal wasn't cool, thats why it was 80's metal. I bet theirs tons of kids with tight pants going to this bands shows and giving the rock sign with their fingers. time for a new joke everyone.

homie (April 30, 2002)

Sounds like they opened up their ass and said shit.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

don't be fooled....their live show is so much better than this album would indicate....

this album was a let down for me, but that doesn't stop them from rocking out really hard live...by all means, check them out...

good review as well sir...


guitarer1c2 (April 30, 2002)

Good review...I downloaded "When I'm With You, I'm Ok" and I really really like it. I'll probably check out the album. Thanks man!

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