Any album with “Fake Bjork Song” as one of its tracks is okay by me. Not that I don’t like Bjork, on the contrary. But an album like Liam Lynch’s Fake Songs is like those Friar’s Roasts or whatever they are called where Chevy Chase gets made fun of by all his peers. In Lynch’s case the roles are switched. He is alone and seems to be making fun of more than just his peers.
Somewhere between the Violent Femmes, Jack Black, and Beck, Liam Lynch is mounting a full frontal attack on modern American pop culture. The album’s single, “United States of Whatever” confronts the stupidity of teenage speech. For just over a minute, Lynch talks between bass riffs. “I went down to the beach and saw Kiki, and she was all like ehhhhh, and I’m like whatever,” he begins, and does not back down from his right to use the word. While the song is completely sophomoric, I have heard every lyric of that song before on any given weekend at SAE or Bar.
In another song we can immediately put on the list of campus classics, Lynch is on his way to work, only to realize that he is “Still Wasted From the Party Last Night.” In “Sir Track” Lynch claims that he named his pager and you should too because its cute. “I’m not a star baby, I’m a trip, can you dig me? I like coffee.” That’s for all those kids who are so cool and so inaccessible about it. After all, if they were accessible, everyone would realize that not only are they not a star, but they are also not a trip.
The album tries to cover all genres, and in doing so only succeeds at some. “Rapbot” is about a trash-talking robot with flow, “Sugar Walkin'” is a falsetto groove Curtis Mayfield style. The only other two songs worth noting are “I’m All Bloody Inside” and “Electrician’s Day.” The point of the first is that people should be superficial and care about what’s on the outside because they are “just a bag of guts and stuff” and “inside [them] well/ it’s dark and gross as hell.” “Electrician’s Day,” the next song, is maybe the funniest song on the album. Lynch sings like a gospel singer to an electric organ. He says things like, “The Lord is looking down on me,/ and he says, cracker, keep it up,” Or, “Now the Lord might be saying,/ honky get your white ass off the stage.” But he doesn’t get off the stage. Because he has to thank the lord for Lynch’s made-up holiday, which celebrates electricity.
Peppered among these songs are songs like “Fake David Bowie Song” and “Fake Depeche Mode Song.” And while the Bjork parody is brilliant (“I’m sort-of maybe hustled, I’m hustled and bustled”), the others only sometimes sound like the versions they are mimicking. They don’t have to be there. Which leads me to a point that any artist should listen to: It doesn’t matter if the songs are a minute long, no album should have 20 songs on it.
“Well Hung,” “Vulture’s Son” and a handful of other songs just don’t sound good. Maybe the lyrics are funny, but I can’t understand what Lynch is saying over the din of his instruments. In the end, the album has some gems on it, and Lynch shows that he can simulate many genres, but this album won’t be inspiring anyone to learn how to play the guitar, or write a song. It’s just fun to listen to if you are so unbearably hip that you can understand all the references to The Pixies, Bowie, Bjork, The Talking Heads, and Depeche Mode. If not, you may have the distinct feeling someone might be making fun of you.