Release Date: Jan 22, 2013
Record label: Mom & Pop Music
Genre(s): Jazz, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Garage Punk, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Garage Rock Revival
L.A.'s FIDLAR are happily regressive – playing brain-dead beach punk that suggests the Germs or Hives at their most uproariously half-assed. The band's name comes from the skateboarding maxim "Fuck It, Dog, Life's a Risk," and its debut bursts with hot sludge and lazy slop-rock jags tied to titles like "Wake Bake Skate," "Cheap Beer" and "Max Can't Surf " (reason: "He's got no balance!"). Along with their blotto sense of humor, some warm California sun breaks through the stoner-thrash haze: "Gimme Something," a chime-y gripe about a panhandling wastoid, is what Black Flag might've sounded like if they'd gone through a Bakersfield country phase.
It might’ve happened after the first time Henry Rollins punched some dude in the face, but somewhere along the line, punk rock got a little too serious and forgot what it was like to be a wiry, fun-loving nihilist. Well, thanks be to God for FIDLAR’s first full-length, here to lead us back to that gamy golden age. From the adrenal rock-and-roll guitars on “Cheap Beer” to the guttural shrills on “Cocaine,” every song here champions that adult adolescence and “fuck it” ideology that has always made the genre so damn appealing.
Culver City. Santa Monica. The 101. LA County. The liquor store. The alley. Your dealer’s car. Beer, speed, blow, weed. FIDLAR are your friendly neighborhood loser garage-rock heroes, and they want to take you along for the ride. Preorder this record and get a band-branded skate deck; if they ….
Suavely sozzled Rat Pack crooner Dean Martin made a living out of being the most pissed man in the room at all times. “You’re not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on,” he apparently once slurred, whiskey glass no doubt brimming over with a triple measure. Yet despite his state of constant pickledness, he was one of the most successful and hardworking entertainers in the world.
Dumb fun is the name of the game on FIDLAR's self-titled debut. With a name that stems from the acronym for "Fuck It Dog, Life's a Risk," that fresh-faced, born-in-the-'90s, Jackass mentality permeates their 2013 debut of 14 quick songs that revel in getting baked, getting drunk, surfing, and skating. Vocalist Zac Carper is nearly diverted from his constant slacker subject matter when Uncle Sam offers him cash to join the Army in "White on White" and when he's left in the Valley by an ex-girlfriend ("Whore"), but in each case he turns back to his old ways.
It would be easy to dismiss L.A. quartet Fidlar as just another bunch of drunk garage-rock fuck-ups flailing around on their instruments; it's exactly how they present themselves on much of their full-length debut. The hedonism on display would rival the most depraved of the mid-'80s Sunset strip rockers. Opener "Cheap Beer" espouses the virtues of its subject with a rallying cry chorus of, "I drink cheap beer.
At some point, the Black Lips went from peeing in each other’s mouths to giving an interview from a cruise ship about their desire for a genuine, Mark Ronson-produced hit. Yeah, this evolution didn’t happen overnight, but the best explanation for their shift is that after a while, entertaining people with your urine loses its magic. And, it is unclear if FIDLAR have peed on anyone in a performance yet, but they might as well have, as the reputation that precedes their self-titled debut is as much for their debauchery as it is for their chops.
Sometimes an album comes along that seems naturally like the right thing at just the right time. Should you need one, FIDLAR is the perfect antidote to 2012..
Fuck it dog, lifes a risk. Apparently skaters say this before flying off ramps and speeding down halfpipes. Its how they rationalize breaking limbs and wracking their genitals on metal railings. The setting: Los Angeles. Four burnout skaters start a punk band. They adopt the aforementioned ….
FIDLAR like to party. FIDLAR like to do drugs, drink too much, drive under the influence, skateboard, jerk-off, pass out and do it again. FIDLAR are not a band with a lot of nuance, but that single-minded focus on doing dumb ass shit is also their strongest weapon.The Los Angeles four-piece traffic almost exclusively in surf-punk and garage-rock, making quick anthems about the joys of doing self-inflicted bodily harm without feeling bad about it.
“I’m an occasional drinker,” Raymond Chandler once wrote. “The kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.” It’s doubtful that Chandler would get along with the guys from FIDLAR—he actually was a very sad person—but they’d certainly have a lot to talk about, writing wise. Mainly that both of their protagonists often drink a seemingly impossible amount of alcohol, and hang around Los Angeles, so convinced of their loserdom that they’re actually cool.
“I drink cheap beer, so what, fuck you,” yells frontman Zac Carper on the chorus of Cheap Bear, the opening song from Fidlar’s debut album. It’s a suitable opener from the LA punk band, setting up the alcohol and drug-fueled scene where they spend the whole of their eponymous album. With a name that is apparently an acronym for ‘Fuck It Dog, Life’s A Risk’ – a catchphrase gleaned from skateboarders in California – it’s hardly surprising that the angsty four-piece are unashamedly brash.
The L.A. skate-punk band FIDLAR don't make music you'll grow old with, and they won't get an "A" for originality, but that's not really the point. While there's a definite lineage and history here, the quartet's self-titled debut is about today-- being young, broke, drunk, ecstatic, and not worrying too much about what happens next. The 14-song collection includes a song called "No Waves" that sounds a lot like Wavves (as does the descriptive "Wake Bake Skate").
FIDLARFIDLAR[Mom & Pop; 2013]By Rob Hakimian; February 7, 2013Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetLA punks FIDLAR opened up their debut DIYDUI EP with the song “Wake, Bake, Skate,” which set the tone for the collection of songs and the band’s personality: guys who like to have fun, do a few drugs, and just mess around. Their debut album instantly steam rolls that idea with “Cheap Beer,” which opens the record with a much more bleary-eyed and confrontational statement than anything on DIYDUI: “I! Drink! Cheap! Beer! So! What! FUCK! YOU!” The tales of surfing and skateboarding seem like a cute and distant past; all of a sudden it seems like these guys can really do themselves some damage, and with FIDLAR they’ve tried to make the perfect soundtrack. Three of the four songs from the EP (“Wake, Bake, Skate,” “Max Can’t Surf,” “Wait For The Man”) have been re-recorded with additional guitars and more growling vocals from Zac Carper.
Their name derives from a skater acronym – fuck it dog, life's a risk. It's ample warning of the low-rent surf-pop-punk hedonism contained on this LA foursome's debut. Imagine the Vaccines' Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra) relocated to a graffitied half-pipe and dusted liberally with whatever the Ramones were having. Cheap Beer rails with inverse snobbery against LA denizens drinking posh IPA, while Wake Bake Skate describes a lifestyle that's entering its fourth decade.
Could’ve it been that punks used to take themselves too seriously? One could only imagine what someone like Richard Hell would have to say about how our current political climate has set off two very diverse sets of classes: those scraping with a thankless dead end job, wishing the mid-shift were over to head into a busted garage; and on the other side of the spectrum there’s those who parade the aesthetic value of artificiality, able to afford the luxury of ruffling their jeans up and practicing gestures in front of a mirror before going on a mission to impress a few hipsters. Back then, Hell’s message about the blank generation held a lot of weight: it was about an unwillingness to settle for society’s prejudices, opting to choose freedom of expression to be whoever, and whatever you want. There’s no question that there’s still a lot of aggression and playfulness in punk, but it hasn’t created as much as impact as it used to, and it probably never will.
The all-caps moniker isn't just an obnoxious style choice; it's an acronym for "Fuck It Dog, Life's A Risk." If that doesn't tell you everything you need to know about the band before spinning their debut record, just take a glance at the track list: Cheap Beer, Stoked And Broke, Wake Bake Skate. These L.A. skate punks make no secret of where they're coming from.
There's no shortage of gleefully dumb, party-hard garage-rock bands out there these days, but LA's Fidlar seem intent on being dumber and party-hardier than any of them – or at least on giving that impression. "I drink cheap beer! So what! Fuck you!" goes the opening song's chorus; the band's name itself apparently stands for "Fuck it dog, life's a risk." That's the agenda set, then, and they certainly stick to it, as one raucous tale of cartoonishly conspicuous, Yolo-driven wastedness leads to another, and another … and another. There's a bit more variation in the music, flitting between sugar-rush pop-punk, faintly 50s-ish pre-Beatles rock'n'roll and hints of the boomy drama of 60s garage.
FIDLAR recorded this, their self-titled debut, at home. That fact in itself is, of course, not particularly notable. It’s probably now more common than not for an artist to have a ‘home studio’, even if it is in the same vein as spare bedrooms becoming the ‘home office’. Or just standing in front of a laptop while asking everyone else to be quiet.And, in any case, for these boys, ‘home’ is a converted studio in Los Angeles’ Highland Park .
In interviews, the four Los Angeles guys behind FIDLAR often have to repeatedly insist that they actually do work really hard on their music. It’s easy to assume otherwise when the first track on their first record is called “Cheap Beer” and the second, “Stoked and Broke,” is a paean to getting wasted and skateboarding, with the key lyric, shouted in frontman Zac Carper’s customary hoarse yowl, “there’s nothing wrong with living like this / all my friends are pieces of shit. ” The seeming clincher on their slackerdom is the band’s very name (of which all the members have stick and poke tattoos), an acronym for “fuck it dog, life’s a risk,” which seems like even more of a shrugged-off ambivalent whatever than YOLO.
Imagine the Black Lips at their most juvenile, or the 13th Floor Elevators huffing paint instead of dropping acid. That's FIDLAR in a shitty pill, the L.A. skate-punk outfit embodying its namesake acronym: "Fuck It, Dog, Life's a Risk." The quartet's self-titled debut offers one cheap thrill after another – short, crude, and entirely self-explanatory (see "Wake Bake Skate" and "Stoked and Broke").
The Southern California slacker punks of FIDLAR started out humbly, playing their first show at a Culver City park in conjunction with a bike riding party organized by a local DIY collective. A year later, they were opening up for Fucked Up in L.A. and by early 2012 were garnering enough press to generate a plethora of buzz surrounding their SXSW shows.
Loutish, drugs-fuelled fare from presently two-dimensional LA punks. Alex Denney 2013 FIDLAR cribbed their name from a phrase rife on California’s skateboarding scene, “F*** It Dog, Life’s A Risk”. Fair to say Confucius won’t be turning in his grave at that one, though in light of the phenomenal drink-and-drug intake documented on their debut, perhaps “YOLO” would have been more appropriate.