Forget self-absorption, top-button fashion, and reading between the lines—this is, without question, the dumbest show of MusicfestNW. And to be clear: To these bands, dumbness is a badge of honor, worn proudly like a tattoo of the Tasmanian Devil dunking a basketball. By now you know about the Mean Jeans, the world's pre-eminent party punks. Newer to playing the Northwest, however, are FIDLAR, from Los Angeles. The acronym says it all: "Fuck It Dog Life's a Risk." Much like their Northwest contemporaries, FIDLAR burp, fart, and scratch out pop nuggets about getting wasted, fried, and fucked. It's in the song titles; names like "Cheap Beer,"
"Stoked and Broke," and "Wake Bake Skate" lay it bare. There are differences, of course. While the Jeans bang major chords with Ramones-style precision and unshakeable harmony, FIDLAR gnarl in a more burnt-out garage, a bit more trash and thrash. And though the Jeans chuckle at sadness, FIDLAR stumble toward full-on nihilism. Think of it like this: While the Jeans' eyes are crossed, FIDLAR's roll back. ANDREW R TONRY