FIDLAR record review
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FIDLAR’s eponymous debut album leads with the track “Cheap Beer,” whose chorus echoes “I drink/ cheap beer/ so what/ [expletive] you,” which sets the tone for the entire album. The song sounds like the Dead Kennedys moved to So-Cal, stopped caring about politics and picked up some drug habits on the way.
This theme of hedonism and drug use continues throughout the album. The group’s name, FIDLAR, is an acronym, standing for “[Expletive] it dog, life’s a risk.” Yet no matter how burnt out, cracked out and drunk FIDLAR presents themselves to be, they still have a knack for writing catchy punk songs. Their songs are loud, abrasive and full of hooks.
Their debut is reminiscent of the Replacements’ debut Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash, playing fast and loose. But instead of singing about the doldrums of being a 20-something in Minneapolis, FIDLAR’s topics of escape are surfing, skateboarding, drugs and beer. For example, in “No Waves,” lead singer Zac Carper croons, “I feel, feel like shooting up/ I feel/ feel like giving up on my skateboard/ ‘Cause I’m [expletive] bored/ I wanna perfect left and a sunset shore.” Indeed, they are a very L.A. band with an L.A. sound. “5 to 9,” a track running barely over a minute references Culver City, L.A. County and, of course, drinking 40’s.
FIDLAR does, on the other hand, provide a refreshing breath of fresh air to the “indie” music scene, while Tame Impala and The XX use reverb and in-studio effects that can be a bit over the top, FIDLAR writes straightforward catchy punk songs. In other words, FIDLAR is writing “unpretentious” songs (just kidding). Their style can be compared to the Black Lips or Wavves, especially because their style is bent on acting like bored suburban white kids playing punk rock. Yet FIDLAR’s guitar work is impressive; their songs are abrasive, yet uniquely catchy. Their lyrical topics can be a bit redundant but definitely fun to sing along to. Overall, I have high hopes for this band with such a solid debut.