Hey there fellow tourists, your just in time for one more Souvenir of the Week! With finals coming up soon it looks like this might be my last blog post for the semester. So I figured I’d help you all get an early start on summer by giving you a very summer feeling souvenir this week. If you couldn’t tell by this post’s title or the album artwork, this week’s souvenir is the self titled album FIDLAR by punk band FIDLAR.



From Los Angeles, California, FIDLAR started out in 2009 and since then has consisted of  Zac Carper (son of John Carper the surfboard designer) on guitar and vocals, Brandon Schwartzel on bass and vocals, and Elvis & Max Kuen (sons of T.S.O.L.‘s keyboardist Greg Kuehn) on guitar/vocals and drums respectively. They put out their first release, DIYDUI, in 2011 which contained a few songs that would later appear on first full length studio album FIDLAR


FIDLAR is somehow able to mix the distinct style of surf music with the energy and grittiness of 80s punk into a sound similar to what you imagine could be the soundtrack of a cheesy Tromaville movie or Danger Five episode. Images of Venice beach, the origins of street skating, and the illicit drugs and gangs of RoboCop or Miami Vice come to mind when listening to a lot of the tracks on this album. Overall this album more or less personifies the spirit of all those sort of grungy beach cities on the West Coast, specifically the tracks No Waves and Blackout Stout.


However, that isn’t to say that they are gimmicky in any way. Beyond the surface of the anthemic songs about the West Coast one can find a variety of darker topics. For example, the track No Waves was inspired by Zac Carper’s struggle with drug addiction and rehab and the track Stoked and Broke reveals their nihilistic look on life. Also, they incorporate other styles of music in some of the tracks in this album. For example the hidden track Cheap Cocaine (after the track Cocaine) and Gimmie Something have a very strong country western sound to them. So although on surface level this album might seem like just like another surf rock-revival band, in reality there is a little more depth and uniqueness to it.


My favorite tracks off of this album are No Waves, Stoked and Broke, Wake Bake Skate, and 5 to 9. I know that the over the top nature of this album might turn some of you off from it, but suggest to give it a couple of listens and in the right context before giving up on it. I feel like one of the best ways to listen to this album is when you’re driving around on a hot and sunny summer day or if you’re going to the beach, pretty much anything involving you enjoying the good summer weather is a great context to listen to this album in.


I hope you all have a great summer and if you have to worry about them, that your finals aren’t too much of a pain. If this is my last post for the semester I want to thank you all one final time for letting me share all of this great music with you these past few months. I look forward to whenever I’ll see you all next and can’t wait to collect more souvenirs for you all!

Oh yeah, and remember! Punks not dead, its just on vacation!




Photo credit: http://www.amazon.com/Fidlar-FIDLAR/dp/B00AG477QU

Original Punk Rock Tourist photo taken by Monique F.