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Ultimate Fakebook
OPEN UP AND SAY AWESOME
(INITIAL)

Stars graphics

To Kansas pop guys Ultimate Fakebook, the most useful definition of emo is the one developed in the í70s by their fellow Midwesterners Cheap Trick: big Camaro rock sweetened with gooey vocal harmonies and gooier declarations of love. The cheapest trick on their third album is "Popscotch Party Rock," a sugar-metal flashback that finds singer Bill McShane nervously showing his girlfriend a video of his schoolboy band playing Cinderella covers. "And Iím worried now that youíll be scarred/By the vision of some Kansas kid just rockiní on his pink guitar," he sings. Hey, if the girl isnít charmed by the teenybopper chorus that ends the song, heís better off without her.

The band offset their partying with gentler pop fare on the rest of the disc, their first for the Kentucky punk label Initial after a short major-label dance with Sony. McShane shows off his pretty falsetto on the full-tilt opener "Wrestling Leap Year," and Get Up Kids Matt Pryor and James Dewees drop by on the rootsy "Combat Fatigue." "Inside Me, Inside You" is an impassioned rant against the music biz that hides its bile underneath an irresistible oldies melody worthy of Weezer. Somewhere, Rick Nielsen is smiling.

(Ultimate Fakebook perform this Saturday, May 11, at the Middle East. Call 617-864-EAST.)

BY SEAN RICHARDSON

Issue Date: May 9 - 16, 2002
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