You all should stop reading this blog because I know nothing about music. I love this new album by Fiddlehead, but most of the online reviews I’m seeing are just a little bit above meh. So either I’m wrong, or everyone else is.

I’m going with everyone else being wrong, because when a DIY indie band can put out a punk album this good, everyone should be embracing it and encouraging them. Shame on you, Internet!

Imagine Fugazi covering folk songs. Or an electrified indie folk band covering Fugazi.

The album is a tribute to recently deceased death of the father of the lead singer, Patrick Flynn. And you can feel his pain on “Poem You,” which opens with the lines: “Talk to your ghost, sleep with your clothes…”

USMA is about the military academy where the man is buried. Every father should have a son who loved him this much.

I’d tell you the lyrics are great, but Flynn’s enunciation is not what makes him a great vocalist–it’s more the feel and passion he brings to the songs. Ditto lead guitarist Alex Henery, who also plays with the band Basement. There’s few discernible hooks, but the guitar work still feels distinctive and powerful.
And then there’s the drums. Shawn Costa (who, like Patrick, is from the band Have Heart), drives every single song forward with a constant, relentless motion.

As the title “USMA” explains, the song is about the United States Military Academy where Flynn’s father was buried. It is a refreshingly energetic song from the album, that explores love not only for a person, but for a beautiful place and how that place grows up with you. Rounding it out is bassist Casey Nealon, who’s played with quite a few other bands, and knows how to keep everyone on target. Excellent musicians, all.

A truly great record. I haven’t loved a new punk album this much since I heard Dirty Nil’s debut a few years ago.

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