Fake Problems / You Blew It! - Florida Doesn't Suck [split] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Fake Problems / You Blew It!

Florida Doesn't Suck [split] (2013)

Topshelf Records

Fake Problems and You Blew It! might not share a ton in common musically, but there are a few connections between the two bands. FP's Derek Perry produced You Blew It!'s debut full-length, 2012's Grow Up, Dude, and both bands hail from the sunshine state of Florida, which according to the title of this release, and contrary to what several Less Than Jake songs would have you believe, does not suck. With that in mind, a split between the two groups actually makes a fair bit of sense.

Fans of Fake Problems know that the group are no strangers to genre-hopping, from the re-reinventing Axl Rose of How Far Our Bodies Go, to the anything goes circus that was It's Great to be Alive, to the sun-soaked beach punk anthems of Real Ghosts Caught on Tape. Their two songs here represent yet another step in their constant evolution. "Small Devil Song" is one of the poppiest tunes the group have penned to date, sounding a bit like a stripped-down Vampire Weekend. "Gone Before Dawn" leans a little closer to their Real Ghosts-era sound, but the synths scattered throughout differentiate it from anything on that album. It is the stronger of the two tracks, and carries an almost Beach Fossils/Wild Nothing vibe.

You Blew It! are up next, and they contribute the most high energy track of the split in "I'm a Kid, That's My Job," a fun lo-fi rocker. Unfortunately, before that song, the listener has to slog through "Batavia, NY," a drowsy slow-burning song that builds to a climax that never comes. The track doesn't have enough enough going on to carry its 3:30 runtime.

2013 should be a big year for Fake Problems, as we'll presumably, and hopefully get a proper release for songs like "Never Shoulda," "I Was Sixteen Years Old" and "I Don't Miss Anyone." These two songs might not be "Songs For Teenagers" or "Heart BPM," but they're great tracks that hint at where the band might be going next. As for You Blew It!, their brand of emo revival is admittedly not my thing, but the band are quite adept at what they do and fans of the genre and the band will have nothing to complain about with their two tracks.

Fake Problems: 8/10
You Blew It!: 6/10
Total: 7/10