Fake Problems - Viking Wizard Eyes Wizard Full of Lies [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Fake Problems

Viking Wizard Eyes Wizard Full of Lies [7 inch] (2008)

Good Friends

Thank your local deity for the hard-rocking bands that never stop. After releasing one of the strongest punk albums (How Far Our Bodies Go) and providing some of the gnarliest, wackiest basement shows of 2007, Floridian folk-punkers Fake Problems have kept on keeping on, with a tour with Smoke or Fire and another full-length planned for 2008. And now, Viking Wizard Eyes Wizard Full of Lies, a new three-song 7" that compensates for its super awkward title with some barn-burning jams.

"Adam's Song" opens the record, and it's clear right away that Fake Problems has evolved quite a bit since Bodies dropped last year. The band is coming into its own, resembling Southern rock more than it does Against Me!-style folk-punk, thanks in big part to the noodly guitar that slips and slides throughout and a sweet rock-out near the end. Damn, this one is going to be fun to hear live.

Track 2, "Mutt," keeps the Southern rock vibe going, right down to the lyrics about frontman Chris Farren's attempts to bone a bonny lass before her boyfriend figures it out. "Yeah we spent some time hanging out in the backseat" Farren reminisces before revealing "You kept on calling and calling me / And I kept on and kept on not answering." Yeah, it's kind of sleazy, but so is Lynyrd Skynyrd's "What's Your Name." At least it's a fun tune.

"Wendy Clear" sounds closer to Fake Problems' older material, with less noodling and more of the guitar/ukulele style found on Bodies. Also, it's not gross and adulterous like "Mutt." Instead, listeners get a romper stomper with a tasty finger-tapping bit in the middle.

Thankfully, Viking Wizard Eyes Wizard Full of Lies is easier to sing along to than it is to pronounce. While not as crunchy or catchy as How Far Our Bodies Go, it should prove to be an excellent placeholder until LP #2 drops like 10 minutes from now.