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  • Jordan Elliott

Review: "Puppeteer" - FXRLY

Puppeteer is the latest single from FXRLY, an alternative artist who is sure to bring back vibes of the good-old early 2000s punk pop days. Also known by his real name, Dylan Frederick, this is the latest single off of his upcoming album, Winter Blue, which is set to release this Friday. Puppeteer is a modern throwback indeed down to the themes of rebellion in its lyrics. The opening line, “I’m a goner, but I don’t really want your help/From your savior, I need somebody else,” introduces the audience to the idea that FXRLY may be lost and alone, but he is certainly better off without the person that once controlled him. Juxtaposing rebellion, this song also contains the overarching theme of destruction. The chorus sees FXRLY confessing that he’s “looking for a bombshell to bring [him] pain” and later, comparing his feelings to “the bang of a drum or a blast amongst [his] head.” The metaphor of the titular Puppeteer shows that he is ready to cut off the ‘strings’ of the toxic person that’s been holding him back. He ends this song off with a simple, yet powerful “hit the road”.

Upon your first listen to this song, the first thing that will take your attention is the heavy hitting drums. The “eerie yet upbeat soundscape” as the artist describes it is for lack of better words, headbanging. I can picture FXRLY’s first live performance of this song will have fans moshing as if they were transported back to Panic! At the Disco’s first tour in 2005 and hearing I Write Sins, Not Tragedies. FXRLY also proves that the guitar solo is not a dead art form as Puppeteer features a nearly 30-second shredder in the middle of the song that will make the electricity flow through all listeners. However, this song would be nothing if it wasn’t for FXRLY’s nostalgic voice. It took me a while to realize who he reminded me of. It wasn’t Brendon, Patrick, or Gerard. Then, it hit me… he’s Billie Joe Armstrong’s long lost son. After this, it came as no surprise to me when I found out that Green Day was cited as one of FXRLY’s biggest influences. In my opinion, Puppeteer could’ve been a lost track from the American Idiot record. It takes the sound that has been missing from music for the past decade and freshens it for 2024. 

FXRLY started publishing music under the name Farley Drive in 2019 with the release of his first EP, Slightly Uneasy. Originally releasing under the labels No Rival Records and Palm Mute Records, he has been with Wilhelm Records since 2022 and his collaboration with fellow pop punk artist Penny Bored, Girls Like You. His two previous full length albums, Daydream in a Parking Lot and Echoes + Icons precede the aforementioned Winter Blue which is releasing this Friday. The album will feature Puppeteer as well as the previously released The Other Side and The Heart is Strange which both also took me back to the early 2000s. It will be available both on streaming platforms and on physical CDs. The first 25 of his Instagram followers (@fxrlyofficial) to show that they follow him on Spotify are even eligible to get a copy for free. Puppeteer is out now on all streaming platforms and its respective lyric video is up on FXRLY’s official YouTube channel. Check it out!

Written by Jordan Elliott



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