Label: Jam Records
02. Shane MacGowan
03. More Than a Machine
04. Tina’s Good at Everything
06. This Heart Be True
07. Valerie Valerie (NJT)
09. Real Girl Now
10. Rubber Soul
11. Crash ‘n Burn
It’s pretty obvious that the Dipsomaniacs spent many, many hours listening to Replacements albums. In every way, the New Jersey quartet emulates their obvious musical heroes on this new disc.
‘The Life You’re Faking’ features a punchy blend of power pop that has enough edgy guitar to keep your attention, yet is never overwhelming enough to force you to reach for the volume knob. The playing is lively and fast, but the songs are melodic and have terrific six-string hooks. That’s a difficult assignment for any band, but the Dipsomaniacs pass the test easily.
Unlike the Replacements, who aimed more for attitude, the Dipsomaniacs are overwhelmingly polished. There is little groundbreaking music here, but that’s not really the point. ‘The Life You’re Faking’ begins with the premise that rock ‘n roll, when played well, is catchy and fun. The band gleefully sticks with this formula over the course of 12 songs.
The standout track is the opener, ‘Everyday.’ It is extremely radio friendly and could easily find its way onto the soundtrack of a teen comedy. This is not an album without flaws, however. ‘More than a Machine’ never hits the right tempo while ‘Dismembered’ sounds like it was cobbled together ten minutes before the band entered the studio.
However, ‘The Life You’re Faking’ gets major bonus points for a pair of song-title reasons. The second song is called ‘Shane MacGowan.’ Any homage to the former lead singer and genius for the Pogues indicates a high degree of felicitous reverence.
The seventh tune, titled ‘Valerie Valerie (NJT),’ is a humorous homage to love on the New Jersey Transit. That’s a mode of transportation I’ve used many times since my collegiate days at Seton Hall. SCORE: 8.’
Boston Herald (MA) 10/12
It’s becoming a familiar refrain, but 2001 is emerging as the best year for power pop since Jean Chretien made an honest living. And New Jersey’s Dipsomaniacs are way out in front of the already estimable pack; they have that rare ability to rock it without losing one iota of hookiness or melody.