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Album Review: I Love My Life When You’re Around by The Fake Boys

Alt rock chameleons The Fake Boys deliver up an exciting and varied record with their new album I Love My Life When You’re Around (released via Animal Style Record on 13th January). It’s such a varied album that you’re never too sure what direction it’ll head next. There’s fuzzed up 90s guitars, Ramones-esque punk, thick psychedelica and a nod to garage rock.

On the first couple of listens you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a little too difficult. With 12 songs coming in just shy of a full hour and lots of variation it doesn’t give you much of an opportunity to casually listen and ease yourself into the record. Just when you’re being suckered in by an immediate hook a discordant riff will crash in to throw you off kilter.

Persevere with it and you’ll be rewarded with a vibrant, throbbing album rammed with highlights. Opener ‘Newz’ sets the tone perfectly as it lurches from a light Pixies sensibility to chaos to fuzzed up guitars. You’ll find real gems in ‘Red, White and Bouge’, ‘This Is’ and ‘Wet Mutt’. Each shines in its own unique way although you’ll find the latter especially memorable in its laidback and assured approach while ‘Red, White and Bouge’ features guitars that literally growl, crushing the crackling drums with their enormity as they veer in unpredictable directions.

If you’re going to struggle with The Fake Boys it may well be due to vocal. At times it veers very close to ruining the track, ‘Thick Pop’ certainly suffers from a vocal style that doesn’t really fit with the music. Then again, like much of I Love My Life When You’re Around that point it contradicted on tracks like ‘Sick Mostly’ where Domenici’s croon complements the shoegaze and on ‘Heel’ where his snarl plays the perfect partner to the disputatious and throbbing riffs.

It’s certainly a juggernaut of an album and one which will challenge you but at the end you’ll thoroughly enjoy. Just make sure you save a bit of energy for penultimate track ‘Brainfog’ as the half-time bridges and pendulous quarter-time choruses, invokes the most primordial heavy metal.

AD Rating 7.5/10


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