Ultimate Fakebook

Ultimate Fakebook

Before We Speak

Initial

If you’ve never heard of these guys, they’re one of the bigger emo-pop bands around who rip off Weezer so badly that I want to stab myself in the eye with a pen. It was much more blatant on their first two full lengths, but thankfully, Ultimate Fakebook has developed a bit of an identity over the years; even though the lead singer has retained some of his Rivers Cuomo worship, he’s shifted most of his copycatting over to Elvis Costello, which I don’t mind too much. The band still sounds pretty much like the green album-era Weezer, but what can we do?

Ultimate Fakebook champions itself as a quirky, “we’re sensitive and shy nerds who speak with unbridled sarcasm to cover up our insecurities” kind of band. The sound on Before We Speak is pretty much their standard fare of enormously distorted guitars playing basic chord progressions, warm and buttery vocals (sadly, they have the high pitch backup vocals, a la Matt Sharp-era Weezer), Moog synthesizers and very singable choruses with sugary hooks. The lead singer, however, is much improved in his delivery, as it seems he’s actually trying to show what he can do when he’s not trying to be Rivers Cuomo.

I read that these guys had been listening to the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds prior to recording this album. I guess this is supposed to mean something, but in this day and age of emo-saturation, I’d be willing to guess that any band named after a day of the week or one sounding like The Get Up Kids’ first record probably listens to Beach Boys Pet Sounds every morning upon waking. I don’t know, I just find Before We Speak, along with pretty much everything else they have put out, to be incredibly contrived, pretentious and completely unoriginal. I know it’s fun to play in a cover band, but it would be more honest to name yourselves something clever like “Only in Dreams” or “Tired of Sex.”

Initial Records: http://www.initialrecords.com/

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