Home > News & Reviews > Fidlar

FIDLAR - Almost Free (Album Review)

Monday, 11 February 2019 Written by Laura Johnson

Photo: David Black

‘Almost Free’, FIDLAR’s third album, finds the band returning to the modest mechanics of their 2013 self-titled bow. The majority of its tracks stem from home-recorded demos, with slick production by Ricky Reed and mixing handled largely by Manny Marroquin providing a counterpoint.

The result is a record that feels disjointed, for a couple of reasons. The LP bounces between genres song to song—taking in punk, grunge, ‘70s rock, ‘90s rock, indie—and the unbridled energy for which the band are known always feels a little tamped down. Their rough edges have also been smoothed out, and in the process the delivery has dulled. If their eclectic second album, ‘Too’, was divisive, be prepared for a wall of death-type separation over this.

That being said, ‘Almost Free’ is far more cohesive in a lyrical sense, with Zac Carper delivering songs that delve into familiar topics: addiction, politics and relationships—the usual culprits that make for a bad time and a good song.

Opener Get Off My Rock—which instantly recalls Beastie Boys—digs into the issue of gentrification in Los Angeles and Hawaii, eventually extending beyond being kicked out of your neighbourhood and into the worldwide refugee crisis.

Too Real also keeps the album’s political fuse lit, while contextualising it with personal and societal flecks, all delivered with that razor sharp wit. “And let’s pretend that EDM didn’t happen at all,” Carper screams. “And that politics are why you drink alcohol.” Later, he sneers: “You’ve gone so far to the left, you ended up on the right.”

Alcohol shifts the focus back inward and was written following Carper breaking his sobriety, while the nature of addiction is written all over the record—spin By Myself and Kick. His continued investigation of the subject makes for some of its more impressive moments. Called You Twice, featuring singer and rapper K. Flay, is another high point, largely because it contains the album’s best, and most unforgettable, line: “I can tell the heart breaks in degrees.”

In a nutshell, ‘Almost Free’ is all over the shop. It’s a playlist for a party that caters for the people you like and those you tolerate for the sake of the others. The band have said they let inspiration dictate the direction of the music and as a result things ended up the only way they could—with a record taking a different step with each track, some forward and some narrowly avoiding a big pile of shit. But, as the band’s name tells us: Fuck it, dog. Life’s a risk.





Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!




Related News

Fidlar To Play Free London Show At House Of Vans Following 'Almost Free' Release
Thu 24 Jan 2019
Fidlar have announced a London gig at House of Vans on January 30.
FIDLAR Announce January London Show, Share Video For New Single By Myself
Thu 10 Jan 2019
Photo: David Black FIDLAR will play a headline London show at the end of January.
FIDLAR Announce New Album 'Almost Free', Share New Single Can't You See
Fri 12 Oct 2018
Photo: David Black There's a new FIDLAR album on the way.
The Twilight Sad - It Won/t Be Like This All The Time (Album Review)
Tue 22 Jan 2019
When football fever gripped England in the summer of 2018, as Gareth Southgate’s side saw off Sweden to book a place in the World Cup semi-finals, the celebrations extended to the sweltering heat of London’s Hyde Park. A huge crowd had assembled to witness a similarly colossal line-up curated by the Cure at British Summer Time, swapping the pubs and bars of the capital for sweeping goth-pop following the final whistle.
Broken Social Scene Announce 'Let's Try The After (Vol. 1)' EP, Share Lead Single All I Want
Tue 22 Jan 2019
Photo: Richmond Lam Broken Social Scene are streaming the lead single of their forthcoming new EP, 'Let's Try The After (Vol. 1)'.
Steve Mason - About The Light (Album Review)
Thu 24 Jan 2019
‘About the Light’, Steve Mason’s first collection since 2016, is a raucous album of finely tuned British rock that gyrates and swaggers with skill and precision. It’s an excellent turn from a musician whose decades-long musical career has taken him on a journey through folktronica, experimental indie and the borderlands of downtempo shoegaze, and who has been through multiple reinventions since the Beta Band called it quits.
Blood Red Shoes - Get Tragic (Album Review)
Thu 31 Jan 2019
Blood Red Shoes’ fifth studio album is a lairy procession of ‘90s-infused indie-rock songs that make great use of Laura-Mary Carter’s sexy, laconic burr. Created after the band fell out—and Carter promptly left for L.A.—the Brighton duo built bridges and got to work. The result is probably their best work since 2008’s ‘Box of Secrets’.
Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow (Album Review)
Wed 23 Jan 2019
Photo: Ryan Pfluger We’ve all got them: those little chores we should be getting on with. Posting that letter. Watering our houseplants. Shaving our legs. Sharon Van Etten’s got them, too, but she favours a different approach to these small administrative tasks. ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’, her fifth album, is about being more present and not giving a shit about the small stuff.
 
< Prev   Next >