Fiya - Better Days (Cover Artwork)


Better Days (2005)

No Idea

Despite the continuing popularity of emo-infused pop, punk and metal, the last year has seen the quiet return of smart, aggressive punk that truly rocks. Fiya's recent No Idea Records debut, entitled Better Days, is a great example of this much-appreciated revival.

Like many No Idea bands, Fiya's somewhat "rough" sound could be described as Hot Water Music-influenced. This is deceptive, however, as Fiya rips through their songs with one primary vocalist and near-reckless abandon. Ultimately, this approach seems to have less in common with Hot Water Music than with early 90's stalwarts like Crimpshrine, Whack/Blight-era Jawbreaker, and Cringer.

Speed is definitely a distinguishing characteristic of Fiya. The ten songs of Better Days fly by in just over sixteen minutes, but contain highlights like "Tell Your Children," which opens with a ripping guitar hook and the brilliant "Guns In The House." To their great credit, Fiya possesses the rare ability to write simple, intelligent and surprisingly literate songs that don't get lost in metaphor or artsy fartsy pretension. An excellent example of this is the aforementioned "Guns In The House" ("We see people differently now, we're keeping guns in the house") as is the unexpectedly poignant commentary on getting older in "New Dog."

For what it is, Better Days is pretty much perfect and highly recommended to fans of the early-90's Gilman Street scene, the No Idea Records crowd, skateboarders, little babies and so on.

(Those interested in checking the band out first hand should investigate the band's webpage, which has audio samples of both "Tell Your Children" and "Guns In The House.")