Dork Radio
Now playing:
In the mag...
Featuring Bombay Bicycle Club, The Big Moon, Soccer Mommy and a whole load more!
Order a copy
February 2020
Album Review

FIDLAR - Almost Free

When FIDLAR are good, they are still very good indeed.
Label: Mom & Pop
Released: 25th January 2019
Rating: ★★★★
FIDLAR - Almost Free
Published: 3:01 pm, January 23, 2019Words: Liam Konemann.

You get the feeling FIDLAR have had some weapons-grade hangovers. After all, they’ve spent the last five years writing about white lines and gold lagers, ricocheting between being strung out and sulking sobriety. Their first two albums, the adventurously titled 'FIDLAR' and 'Too', are the musical equivalent of a booze-induced existential crisis, the kind that would break a lesser band’s will to carry on. Surely, you think, these guys can’t take any more. 

But on their third record, 'Almost Free', FIDLAR are cracking on with tracks like the ‘what it says on the tinnie’ single ‘Alcohol’, and the ramshackle lament to solo drinking ‘By Myself’. In some senses, they haven’t changed their ways. ‘Kick’ - an Elvis Kuehn special about getting over addiction of any kind - is classically FIDLAR, all twanging guitars and distorted vocals about bad behaviour. ‘Good Times Are Over’ and single ‘Can’t You See’, too, show off the best of their anti-self-care stance.

Elsewhere though, the band have experimented with sometimes disappointing results. While 'Too' was like one long, perfect riff, 'Almost Free' doesn’t hold together in quite the same way. FIDLAR have cleaned up their production values and branched out, but the new directions can feel misplaced. The shiny ‘Scam Likely’, for example, wouldn’t be out of place on a Noel Gallagher album - it’s fine, but place it with ‘Nuke’’s extreme garage rock or the extended panic attack of ‘Too Real’, and the house starts to fall down. Still, the real wild card on 'Almost Free' is ‘Called You Twice’, a bruised break-up ballad featuring K. Flay, and one of the strongest songs on the record. Here, FIDLAR tap into a vein and show what they can really do.

'Almost Free' is a mixed bag, but when FIDLAR are good, they are still very good indeed.

Give all this a try

My Chemical Romance just announced a US Tour in the most My Chemical Romance way possible
On tour

My Chemical Romance just announced a US Tour in the most My Chemical Romance way possible

A thirteen-and-a-bit minute long career retrospective epic? Yeah, that'll do.
Marsicans on their new single, upcoming debut, and mediating in the face of disaster
Feature

Marsicans on their new single, upcoming debut, and mediating in the face of disaster

Singer James Newbigging looks ahead to a year of new music.
The 1975 have announced another UK show for this summer
Festivals

The 1975 have announced another UK show for this summer

The band will headline one of the dates for this year's Edinburgh Summer Sessions.
Michael Kiwanuka, Caribou, Mac DeMarco and Little Dragon are all set for Green Man 2020
Festivals

Michael Kiwanuka, Caribou, Mac DeMarco and Little Dragon are all set for Green Man 2020

The festival runs from Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd August in the Brecon Beacons, Wales.
Like this? Subscribe to Dork and get every issue delivered direct to your door anywhere on the planet.
CONTACT PRIVACY ADVERTISE

© 2018 The Bunker Publishing