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Tuesday, 5 February 2013

#24: FIDLAR - FIDLAR


Born off the back of a skate-punk resurgence, LA's FIDLAR are living life to it's fullest and creating the kind of booze-fuelled skate-sleaze your parents warned you about. Their self-titled début album is a balls-to-the-wall surf-jam influenced by So-Cal punk bands such as The Offspring and Blink 182 as much as earlier punk bands such as T.S.O.L and Social Distortion.

Clocking in at just over half an hour long Fidlar is a short, sharp kick in the ribs. Songs such as 'No Waves' ooze So-Cal attitude and paint pictures of the holy trinity of Californian punk. Surfing; drinking and girls. While track six, entitled 'Max Can't Surf' is full of sleazy guitar-licks and a surprisingly Weezer like chorus.

Unfortunately the album isn't without it's downsides. About halfway through, it does seem to get quite repetitive, as if you've heard it all before. The lo-fi vocals, while suiting to the overall archaic sound of the band, do seem to be slightly over used and would benefit from some respite every now and again.

There are occasional moments where something particularly special shines through, although they are few and far between. One such moment is the shortest track on the album '5 to 9' which is a fantastic minute long stomp-along that is bound to go down well during live shows. While 'LDN' sounds like The Ramones meets The Beach Boys in a lo-fi surf amalgam which is surprisingly inoffensive given the drug-addled subject matter of most of the other songs.

Fidlar is an album that will almost certainly have it's critics. On the surface it's an aggressively hedonistic portrait of Cali life steeped in punk history (two members of the band are children to the guitarist from aforementioned T.S.O.L). Beneath an obnoxious exterior however is an album with promise and potential. Perhaps a second album will reveal a maturity in their song-writing. But for now the lads are more inclined to drink and snort their way through the royalties, but where else would they get their subject matter for album number two from?

6/10