Fidlar – [Album]

Fidlar – [Album]

Sunday, 13 September 2015
ARTIST: Fidlar – [Album]
DATE: 09-13-15
REVIEW BY: Bill Adams
LABEL: Mom + Pop/Dine Alone

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It isn’t intended to sound condescending when I say that Fidlar has secured their seat at the head of the table where all of the unapologetic goofs in rock dine (they kicked the chair out from under Bunchofuckinggoofs) with their sophomore (and a little more sophomoric) effort. Too is the perfect kind of follow-up for a band like this; it’s loud (the volume it cranked-to-near-clipping on each of the album’s twelve tracks and there’s no looking back), it’s obnoxious (singer Zac Carper has no problem sounding like the biggest snot-ball in all creation as he pushes every lyric out through his nose), it’s dismissive (don’t lines like “Skip school/I’m already failing/ Told mom and dad that I’m bailing/ Cracked out and sleepless in Seattle/ Got drunk and barfed on my shadow” about sum it up?) and, for everyone who has bemoaned punk’s recent clean-cut image, it’s a welcome dream come true.

Fidlar’s fresh, obnoxious muse erupts like a fresh coat of dayglo paint as “40 oz. On Repeat” splatters out to open the album. There’s just no holding back, Fidlar throws everything at the wall to see what might stick together here; Brandon Schwartzel’s bass oozes molten candy all over Max Kuehn’s drums, and guitarist Elvis Kiehn’s thick sound stands up like a brick wall for Carper to scream at. The result feels like Queen’s “Somebody To Love” ran headfirst into Blur’s “Song 2” and knocked all possible irony out of both, and then picked up the strings from “Lucy In The Sky With Diamond” for shits and giggles. It could be argued that “40 oz. On Repeat” is just too over the top for its own good, but complainants need to lighten up – the song is silly, refreshing and fun.

As the album continues, that “fun” quotient never diminishes. “Why Generation” covers one of the greatest whines ever committed to tape (check out the nasal “why” in the title lyric) in a thick layer of punk-y snot and more distortion than it knows what to do with while “Sober” satirizes every rant ever issued by a Daddy’s girl to her boyfriend before “Leave Me Alone” turns around and does the same thing to the classic, teenaged “No one understands me” plaint.

While not exactly original, hearing how Fidlar builds each of those songs is really cool; parents who grew up in the sarcasm-saturated Nineties will be able to recognize some of the ideas here as being similar to those which turned platinum in grunge and SoCal punk’s glory days, but they’ve now been re-framed to fit a thirty-something world-view, while their kids will also have something loud and obnoxious to play as a soundtrack to all their greatest new bad ideas too. Too plays to both groups of listeners evenly and, even better, does so in a manner which doesn’t try to look clever. This album just sticks to being garish and pigheaded and wins.

All that said, the obvious question turns to if all this was part of a plan on Fidlar’s part, but it’s hard to care one way or the other. Simply said, Too is great because it’s poppy, punk-y and has a gloriously miserable attitude all at once, all the way through. It’s been done before, but hasn’t been done this well in a really, really long time.



Too is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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