FIDLAR: ALMOST FREE

January 20th, 2019 | Album reviews

If you are an L.A.-area musician who would like to submit music of any genre for review, email a stream or download link to fortherecord@larecord.com.

FIDLAR
Almost Free
Mom + Pop

If you were attending punk shows around Los Angeles eight or so years ago, odds are you found yourself at an unforgettably raucous FIDLAR show or two. With their beach-friendly party-punk style, the band quickly built a strong reputation for sets as volatile and wild as the crowds that would show up to see them. In the years since, however, the band has cleaned themselves up a bit, tiptoed toward a poppier sound, and grown out of the backyards and warehouses into larger established venues both—locally and around the world. FIDLAR’s newest Almost Free sees the quartet continuing to transition toward pop accessibility while still retaining a bit of the grit and the grime from which they emerged. Working with producer Ricky Reed (Twenty One Pilots, Kesha, Lizzo), the new record captures FIDLAR at their most polished and stylistically diverse. Opening track “Get Off My Rock” recalls the fuzzy, alt rock/hip-hop sounds of Check Your Head-era Beastie Boys, while the hammering “Flake” has the stadium-ready glam-rock charm of Gary Glitter’s famous “Rock And Roll.” “By Myself” and “Called You Twice,” meanwhile, are straight-up modern pop, but in songs like “Alcohol” and “Too Real” flashes of a younger, more decadent FIDLAR still reveal themselves. This might be the band’s strongest stab at mainstream acceptance and success, but it still feels more like FIDLAR is trying to make the pop world come to them, instead of the other way around.

—Simon Weedn

FIDLAR’S ALMOST FREE IS OUT FRI., JAN. 25, ON MOM + POP.