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Album Review: Rock & Roll Is Dead and So Am I by Fake Nice

A great indie rock album with a sense of nonchalant brilliance.

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By Andy McFerren

What happens when you’re too good at something? People hate you. Lebron James? Hate. Michael Jordan? Hate. Taylor Swift? Hate. Weird Al Yankovic? Hate. 

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In the world of Utah’s indie music scene, I must assume that the same rules apply. Therefore, it stands to reason that there is a long list of people (at the very least 8, but no more than 100) who absolutely hate Chase Ford. And not a playful hate where enemies become lovers. This is a deep-seated, “you’re scum between my toes” fake letter to Darla written by Spanky kind of hate. Because this album is good. 

Fake Nice consists of the aforementioned Chase Ford on guitar and lead vocals, Lily Gertler on drums and backing vocals, and Siah Collins on bass. Their debut album (before Chase announced his new project Chase Ford and the Gummy Boys), Rock & Roll Is Dead and So Am I, is a near-perfect indie rock album. A tear is brought to my eye just thinking about it. 

Lily Gertler (left) and Chase Ford (right)
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There’s a pacing that reminds me of a mix between current British rock bands like Sports Team and California surf rock bands like Surf Curse, though at times maybe a sleepier version of surf rock. For a wonderful example of this, check out the song “Friends With Exceptions.”

And while it is not a requirement for any great indie rock album to carry with it a sense of nonchalant brilliance, the tone of this album is akin to that quiet new kid at recess who said he was just okay at basketball and is now draining threes and crossing up Jeffrey till he eats concrete. This tone is achieved and accentuated through Chase’s shaky vocals that borderline desperate pleas which call back to a time where your voice was constantly on the verge of cracking. 

Thank god for indie rock, am I right?

Make sure to follow Fake Nice on Instagram. You can listen to my personal favorite track, “Boyhood Vanity,” below!

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