California punks FIDLAR bring explosive choruses and buckets of attitude on their sophomore release Too. Whether bemoaning sobriety or celebrating youthful indiscretion, Zac Carper sing-shouts from the top of his lungs throughout twelve well-produced, energetic songs, mostly written from the perspective of a guy who behaves badly, and then regrets it.
If the sometimes whiny, sometimes angry, sometimes slightly amusing lyrical content on Too is a bit predictable, the musical accompaniment is surprisingly, pleasantly varied and exceptionally performed. The song “Punks” is reminiscent of the Beastie Boys’ “Gratitude”. “Why Generation” dips into psych-pop territory before unloading a bombastic chorus. “Overdose” sounds like Modest Mouse’s “Bukowski” with a surprise kick thrown in at the end, and every track gracefully slides from one into the next via fun, interstitial weirdness. If you’re in it solely for straight up, old school-style punk rock, fear not, there’s plenty of that, too.
There’s a certain bitter, disillusioned skater boy/girl demographic that FIDLAR’s Too will no doubt push all the right emotional buttons with. As well it should. If I could go back in time and hand my awkward and confused fifteen-year-old self this album, I’m certain it would quickly become a source of intense musical adoration until the next obnoxious, aggressive album my parents would no doubt hate piqued my interest.
A lot of records by skate punk bands serve only as passing, empathetic reflections of adolescent rage. With Too, however, FIDLAR manage to successfully combine sustained vocal intensity and youthful exuberance with plenty of musical eclecticism. The end result is a stronger, more interesting album in the genre that holds up well after multiple listens.