Rhapsody Radar 2012: #10 FIDLAR
by Garrett Kamps | July 20, 2012
Though the X-Games and Jack Johnson have obscured this fact, there was once a glorious connection between skating, surfing and juvenile delinquency. Tasty waves and huffing glue, bombing hills and slamming whip-its -- these things used to go hand in hand. Today they wouldn't recognize one another in a holding cell. FIDLAR intend to change all that.
Such ambitions might not be readily apparent initially. This East L.A. foursome -- Zac Carp, Brandon Schwartzel, and brothers Max and Elvis Kuehn -- looks like it just rolled out of bed, and its songs are rough-around-the-edges, two- and three-minute bursts espousing a life philosophy of "Wake, Bake, Skate." However, FIDLAR is a deceptively industrious troupe. In its few short years of existence, the band has released dozens of songs on YouTube, accompanied by homemade videos that depict its members doing such thing as thwarting alien invasions and snowboarding sand dunes in a California desert. Having recently signed to Mom + Pop Records -- home to such diverse acts as Neon Indian, Ingrid Michaelson, and Sleigh Bells -- FIDLAR have released two EPs, with a full length on the way later in 2012. Don't let Carp's assertion that he "feels like a crackhead" fool you. This band may just have its act together.
Their sound is deceptively simple as well. On its face, it's your typical lo-fi scuzz attack: lots of fuzz, reverb and screeching. But these guys are as versed in the punk theatrics of The Stooges as they are the slinking boogie of The Stones, and they're also not afraid to pull out a Blink-182 cover either, which they did recently at their first headlining show in San Francisco, closing their set with "All the Small Things" to a beer-soaked, mosh-exhausted crowd that probably considers that tune an oldie. It's no wonder they've recently opened for such rawk veterans as The Hives and OFF! Jeff Spicoli would be proud.