The up and coming band Fidlar released their first full-length album last week, courtesy of Mom and Pop Records.
The self-titled debut album by the little known band draws upon the slacker lifestyle to create a mix of blues infused punk rock that results in a sound that resembles The Black Keys on speed.
With such song titles as “Cheap Beer”, “Wake Bake Skate”, and “Blackout Stout” the album expresses the carefree, YOLO lifestyle through fast guitar riffs and vocals with enough fuzz to make a sweater. While normally I am not a fan of the YOLO-esque music that has become so synonymous with supposed teenage rebellion and the party scene, I couldn’t help but find myself enjoying the album.
I am a fan of the punk rock subgenre known as psychobilly, from bands such as The Meteors and The Cramps; and the debut album from Fidlar veers very close to the typical psychobilly structure in both tone and rhythm. While the psychobilly influences are obvious, the lyrical euphemisms and content remain primarily nu-wave punk in the vain of the life-on-the-edge modern punk.
The song “Cheap Beer” manages to balance these two styles in a way that makes you want to dive head first into a mosh pit with a drink in hand. While some songs such as “Stoked and Broke” are reminiscent of the style Joan Jett or The Runaways, the band still manages to make it’s punk influence dominate the rest of the tracks.
While at first the songs are hard-hitting and fun party music, nearing the end of the album, the themes of drugs, drinks and slacking off begin to wear thin and instead turn into one of the albums vices.
I enjoy punk rock, however I find my real musical interest in progressive and alternative music where the lyrical context is much different. Despite my bias, I still think that the album was a great addition to punk.To someone else, it’s quite possible that the lyrical styling might appeal more to him or her, but for this reviewer, it began to become stale.
Another problem with the album and band in general is that I can already tell they are doomed to obscurity in the mass market. The instrumentals are too different for traditional punk listeners and the lyrics are too YOLO-oriented for typical psychobilly fans; just the fact that I describe their music as YOLO-esque makes me want to distance myself from them as a punk fan already.
In the end, Fidlar’s debut album is decent, however it fails to establish the band as a force to be reckoned with by relying too heavily on the input of outside interest. However, the album is only seven dollars on iTunes and has a total of fourteen tracks, which, for your money, is pretty darn good. Next time I’m driving, I’ll likely pop the CD into my player, but if it fell onto the floor, let’s just say I wouldn’t look too hard to find it.