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Like, Wow, Wipeout!
on 6 March 2013
"Grammy-award winning" is not a phrase you're ever likely to see associated with FIDLAR and it's not at all to their detriment. While worthier bands pursue School of Rock greatness, the respect of their peers or increasingly bloated prog-rock ridiculousness (Arcade Fire, Animal Collective and the Flaming Lips please stand up), these snot-faced L.A. punks seem deliriously content with the business of singing and playing and drinking and scoring drugs and getting wasted or singing about drinking and scoring drugs and getting wasted or just getting drunk and wasted whilst singing about getting drunk and wasted. In short, FIDLAR like to party and their debut album makes no bones whatsoever about that fact. The opening salvo of `Cheap Beer', `Stoked & Broke', `White On White' and `No Waves' sets out their musical stall and, where at times, it can feel like an over-caffeinated Patrick Star bellowing right in your face at a Wavves or Black Lips gig, there's no denying the sheer vigour and the raw sense of righteous belief that bleeds through.
FIDLAR do take their foot off the gas, albeit temporarily, about halfway in (not counting the dubious `Whore' track; the closest thing here to a ballad) and 'Gimmie Something' has them surprisingly sounding like a melodic but muscular Creedence Clearwater Revival. Whether intentional or not, this one song taps into a vein of musicianship that you almost doubted existed within the band and gives you a reason to root for these kids in the long term; that if they survive the endless partying, they could well become this generation's Replacements.
Whatever else FIDLAR are or aspire to be in the future, right now, they want to be your new favourite band, your new best friend or your hot new squeeze. This being 2013 however and not 1983, it's fair to assume that they also recognize that kind of fervent, youthful, devotion is short-lived and often doomed to a messy and disappointing end. While much is made in interviews of the name FIDLAR actually being an acronym for "F*** It Dude, Life's a Risk", it's also a summation of the band's philosophy; a mission statement, even if that mission is as sweetly naïve as getting as messed up and sweaty as possible and just enjoying the ride. FIDLAR still want to be ringing in your ears the next day when you wake up, topless and surrounded by unconscious bodies, and swearing you'll never do it again.