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Famous Problems

The Butterflies Of Love

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Album Review

Any band that would name themselves the Butterflies of Love (a French euphemism for pubic crabs) probably has a higher level of cynicism than the average Joe, and the third album from the Connecticut-based group, Famous Problems, would tend to confirm this; this is dark, faintly garage-influenced indie rock that suggest a shotgun marriage between the Ass Ponys and Green on Red, with an extra helping of fuzzed-out guitars and cheap organ up front. The Butterflies of Love also generate more than their fair share of bad karma on these tunes, especially on the bitter "Lies Will Sound Like the Truth" or "In a Blizzard in a Lighthouse" which unearths a palpable sense of abstract dread. But while no one is about to accuse these guys of being Party Gods, they sure know how to write a song and make a record, and Famous Problems connects solidly after a few spins. Leaders Jeff Greene and David Greene bring strong, emotionally expressive melodies to these tunes, and their vocals communicate a dozen shades of angst without edging into self-pity or narcissism, documenting busted lives in the less fashionable environs of the East Coast with journalistic accuracy and a poet's balance of sorrow and compassion. The Greene's bandmates back them up with simple but forceful rock & roll that brings forth both the beauty and the sorrow of their psych-tinged folk-rock with maximum emotional impact. Famous Problems would be better served with a stronger and more resonant production, but that doesn't change the fact this is a fine band that's made an album that's well worth hearing.

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