Throughout 2018, FIDLAR surprised fans with single releases “Can’t You See” and “Alcohol,” which will be featured in their third record, Almost Free, due for release on January 25 through their home label, Mom+Pop Records. FIDLAR is well-known for their sporadic, screeching, and alternative punk-rock sounds with hit-tracks like “No Waves” and “Cheap Beer, ” songs that talk about the mixed emotions and hard-to-break habits of early adulthood.
In Almost Free, FIDLAR takes an indie-rock approach as they incorporate smoother rhythms and melodies with tracks like “Flake,” “Called You Twice” (ft. K.Flay), and “Can’t You See,” which sounds very similar to acts like Portugal. The Man and Ty Segall. Almost Free touches on many topics like the post-breakup telecommunication, loneliness, and the corrupted and narcissistic society.
“Thought. Mouth” is clever in that the song starts with a smooth, off-beat tune, and Kuehn solemnly sings the first verse of the song, “I’m gonna move to Canada / Cuz fuck America.” The verse leads into the funky and catchy pre-chorus of the song that might subconsciously get you to shake your shoulders a little bit. “It makes me feel upside down and inside out / And I swear to god I’m freaking out.” The Chorus of the song is raw and strong. Kuehn raspily shouts, “And if I say that I love you would you say it back / And if I told you I need you how would you react.”
“Too Real” doesn’t hold back and makes a huge statement about the society that we live in. “ … the government is gonna fuckin lie / a bunch of white people calling white people white / and why the hell is everybody on their phones / what is the answer to life on that fuckin phone?”
“Flake”’s intro instantly reminded me of The Black Keys’ “Howlin’ For You” as they incorporate a very similar rhythm, but the tempo is quickly layered on with a classic and edgy electric guitar sound. FIDLAR takes an entirely different approach. From front to back, the song is synchronized and strong.
FIDLAR pushes the boundaries in Almost Free. It’s vulgar, provocative, and carefree, but still stays true to their core, which is why this record tops all previous releases.