FIDLAR - 'Almost Free'

9/10

Since emerging back in 2013 with their self-titled debut album, FIDLAR quickly established themselves as the quintessential Californian party band. With raucous energy and catchy hooks, the group took to the US punk scene like a duck to water, quickly following up their first full-length with the equally excitable 'Too' in 2015, a name which implied more of a sequel to its predecessor than a continuation of sound. But after nearly four years looking to reinvent themselves, the outfit have now returned with the brilliantly bombastic third LP 'Almost Free', a record that sees them take a gamble and emerge more solid than ever.

The first thing you notice about this new record after a few tracks in, is just how unbelievably diverse it is. Opening with the bold and thunderous 'Get Off My Rock', the release quickly changes gear over and over again to give a real rollercoaster of ambition and focus that leaves you feeling impressed that this is all somehow the same band. Whether its the brilliantly fun 'By Myself' or the blistering punk energy of 'Alcohol', FIDLAR have managed to create an eclectic range of ideas, all cloaked under the umbrella of having a good time and adopting new challenges that have seen them blossom from their stereotypes with gusto.

They have always had this infectious energy, but to see them transfer it into almost any genre they feel like is incredibly impressive and despite reservations towards bands rejecting a more cohesive directions, these guys seem to have gone against the mould and emerged even greater in the process. This is an essential listen for anyone looking to have their day brightened.

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