On the careless, scruffy single “United States of Whatever,” Liam Lynch snottily shrugs, “Whatevah” at everyone and everything, sounding as if he were making it all up as he goes along. He’s not, but he is making it up: Fake Songs is a fake record about fakery. Self-explanatory tunes such as “Well Hung,” “Still Wasted From the Party Last Night,” and “Rock and Roll Whore” have little more going for them than aggressively strummed acoustic guitar, shaggy art-damaged vocals, and clever-pretending-to-be-dumb lyrics. (This from “Well Hung”: “I’m hot like a knife-a/I’ll scratch your Formica.”) All of which, give or take a few gazillion decibels, is approximately what Andrew W.K. has going for him—and a lot less than Jack Black and Kyle Gass’ Tenacious D does, with its hysterical behind-the-music narrative. (The L.A.-based Lynch, creator of MTV’s The Sifl & Olly Show, is pals with Black, who appears on this record.) Still, Lynch has an ear for the kinds of lyrical and instrumental tropes that vault into pretentiousness with just a little tinkering, and he sings his skewed little novelty tunes as if he were half in the bag on open-mike night. Lynch’s David Byrne impression, for example, is devastating, and his “Fake Björk Song,” with its dead-on female vocal, is indistinguishable from its inspiration. Tee-hee. If only it were open-mike night….You want to yell out requests: “Do blink-182!” “Do Elliott Smith!” On Fake Songs, Lynch does neither, though he does do Bee Gees-esque nasal disco (on “Sugar Walkin’”: “It’s a very sexy, sexy dance”), David Bowie’s nasal theatrico-pomp (on “Fake David Bowie Song,” which begins “I dreamt of a wizard with a hot guitar”), and even non-nasal synth-pop drone (on “Fake Depeche Mode Song,” aka “Miserable Life”). Lynch is a man lousy with talent for rock ‘n’ roll doggerel; it remains to be seen whether he’ll ever use his gift for good, not evil. —Arion Berger