Fidlar - FIDLAR - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Fidlar - FIDLAR

by Bob Coyne Rating:7 Release Date:2013-02-04

It's impossible to listen to any new band nowadays and not be able to cite references, homages and general influences. The difference comes when those things mesh into something said new band can actually call their own. FIDLAR (an acronym from their LA skate days, meaning 'Fuck it, dog, life's a risk') get labeled skate-, slacker-, surf-, garage-, and (possibly most prudently) DIY-punk. But, having recently embroiled myself in a heated debate over what classes as [anything]-punk, I'm going to avoid semantics, and skip to the part where I say 'just listen to the album'.

Their first, self-titled, album follows on from last year's EP, Shit We Recorded in Our Bedroom (which was a comfort, and helped me finally come to the conclusion that the sound-quality wasn't just due to my shit speakers). It mainly showcases their consumption of beer and substances, intermittently punctuated by ex-girlfriends, skateboarding and surfing, in a fast-paced, compelling album which takes up less than 40 minutes of your time.

The song titles are pretty literal. There's no hiding from the meanings of 'Stoked and Broke', 'Max Can't Surf' ("God knows he's got no balance"), and 'Wake Bake Skate', but who needs subversion in a two-and-a-half minute mosh? Bar 'Cocaine', with it's (hidden) continuation, the longest track - weighing in at 3:40 - is a number aimed at someone's ex-girlfriend, entitled 'Whore' (I guess they're not friends anymore). There's not a whole lot to it lyrically, but they get the point across. Shakespeare these guys ain't, but there is a charm to the youthful honesty they exude.

Towards the end of the album, the vibe takes a downturn. 'Paycheck' sees the party dying, and 'Cocaine', in its entirety, definitively evokes the come-down: "I've been wasted almost every day/ and I don't know what to do/ It kinda sucks being 22", bemoans singer/guitarist Zac Carper, although I'm struggling to believe that, given the rest of the album.

If you want to look for influences, you can pretty much hear anything you want in this album (I swear I heard a whisper of 'Jealous Guy'). There are the frenetic moments, and there are the subdued, but overall FIDLAR manage to inject - no pun intended - a rush of irresponsible, sun-soaked fun into an otherwise dull day. At least someone's still living the party dream.

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