After last year’s brief and embarrassingly awful attempt at surf-pop, Fight Fair have returned to the pop-punk sound they championed with their early release Settle The Score. Of course, this step backward seems like little more than an attempt to recapture the market they inevitably lost after California Kicks sank under the weight of its kitschy lyrics and forced ’60s framework. But then again, maybe Fight Fair were testing us—waiting to see if they could milk whatever cash is left in the pop-punk universe off a record that very well might have been one big
Regardless, it’s encouraging to see some sign of life return to the California-based quintet’s sound. The group channel golden-era Drive-Thru Records favorites Allister and Homegrown on “Far” and “How Do I,” two upbeat, snotty slabs of pop-punk; but they quickly lose any traction with horribly misplaced breakdowns (“The Upper Hand”) and a head-scratching 11-second double-time number that serves absolutely no purpose (“Heartattack Back Issues”). Just like with California Kicks, you get the sense the band members see their music as little more than an inside joke. It’s actually a shame; with any sort of devotion to honoring their craft and culling the praiseworthy fragments of their sound, Fight Fair could actually make a complete and civilized record. Here’s hoping they stop clowning around next time and decide to take this whole thing seriously.
Triple Crown http://www.triplecrownrecords.com