The L.A. dwelling skate punks of FIDLAR are known for their bad habits and goofy lyrics, but they’ve added raw emotion to the mix with their newest release. Their sophomore album, Too, shows more depth, sentiment and humility than anything the band have put out. I mean, it’s hard to think much of a band whose name is an acronym for “Fuck It, Dog, Life’s a Risk.” But, the explanation of their antics works tenfold with this coming-of-age album. The powerhouse, garage ruffians take fans on a thrashy journey through the group’s (or select members) diary of sobriety and high speed travels from being the local, opening band to headlining their own tour. The age old story of young musicians trying to get a grip on their fast paced lives is something bands pass over when they’re in the thick of it, but FIDLAR make the notion apparent; and they’re cool with the struggle.
Starting the record off on a high note with their single “40 oz. On Repeat,” which brings adolescent anxiety and partying at the forefront of the band’s persona, it’s a familiar track to add to the catalog of songs of the same nature. Brash and booming guitar notes coupled with singer Zac Carper’s raspy voice, the setup for the rest of the record is showcased as the second track, “Punks,” trails off the single. The song “West Coast,” an apparent bittersweet ode to their California roots, adds an indie flair to the record. The lyrics, “and all my friends they just stay the same/I’m growing up, but nothing’s changing” bring in the personal struggle as the group grow up into their own as musicians.
The best track, “Sober,” sounds like a reference to The Suicidal Tendencies “Institutionalized” with it’s speedy intro of banter. The song is noisy, heavy and full of rebellion classic to FIDLAR. The lyrics “I figured out as I got sober that life just sucks when you get older” becomes flipped back and forth throughout the track.
The record ends on a high note (noticing a pattern here?) with “Bad Habits” bringing the story to a close with a youthful attitude towards adolescence. The lyrics “I’m getting older and I’m freaking out because I got nothing to show and I’m still fucking broke, but I got bad habits/They’re my bad habits” explains the songwriter’s struggle with addiction. Just as you think the group are getting sentimental, the group make light of things by Carper comparing himself to his dad.
One thing holds true to the young punks in FIDLAR aside from the cycle of getting high and getting sober and that’s that there isn’t anything better than punk rock. The record is a definitely a choice pick for fans of Wavves, METZ, Best Coast, Desaparecidos and Black Lips. Gathering praise from practically every music blog in the scene to kudos from Rolling Stone and Time, it’s a wonderful thing to know that punks will be punks and the dudes in FIDLAR don’t look like they’re going to sell out (yet).