Album Review: Fidlar – Too

When a band describe themselves as both “pop-infused garage rock” and “at the forefront of modern punk music”, it’s difficult not to become cynical. What punk band describes themselves as “at the forefront” of punk? And since when was pop-infused garage rock at the forefront of anything? Truth is, Fidlar have a really odd angle on things, and it never quite sits right.

The four-piece hail from LA, where they gained notoriety thanks to their raucous live displays and found themselves touring the globe with the likes of The Pixies and The Hives. Second album ‘Too’ is intended to “highlight a more introspective and revelatory approach to songwriting” although I’m not entirely convinced that this is successfully achieved.

‘40oz On Repeat’ introduces you to Zac Carper’s brattish and rather nasal voice. The track is full of fuzzy guitars and is kind of a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement of one’s own pathetic nature. It’s rather charming and raises hopes of a Weezer understudy materialising. But when ‘Punks’ follows with its grungy, moody vibe, the charm wears off and you get the impression that these guys really badly want you to know how little they care about shit and stuff.

The most frustrating aspect to ‘Too’ is that it has quite a few really very good tracks amongst the ongoing theme of the tracks being really very annoying. I would quite like to dislike the album completely, but ‘West Coast’ is such a let’s-go-wild kind of upbeat anthem and you just can’t help but get a kick out of it.

It seems that for every track you could happily listen to on repeat, there are two you hope never contaminate your earholes again as long as you live, such as the massively horrible ‘Sober’ with its vomit-inducing spoken word diatribe about some boring relationship melodrama followed by a chorus about how hard life is when you are older. Seriously, grow a pair.

‘Overdose’ is a kind of moody number about excess which comes over all keys and soft guitar, and you can’t quite tell whether they are actually taking the piss or just mistakenly sounding like a terrible parody of 90s rock bands. Either I’m too smart to listen to this or too stupid, and either way it’s not for me.

Predictably towards the end of the album there are two songs that almost redeem the whole thing on their own merit – ‘Stupid Decisions’ with its irresistible drunken sing-along qualities, and ‘Bad Habits’ with its deeply relatable lyrics (“All I got are bad habits, but they’re my bad habits, and all I want are bad habits, yeah my bad habits”).

You just don’t know whether you’re coming or going with Fidlar. Both brilliant and terrible, they give me no option but to rate them bang in the middle.


‘Too’ by Fidlar is out now on Wichita Recordings.

Fidlar links: Website|Facebook

Words by Alex Phelan (@listen_to_alex)


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