Fucked Up – David Comes To Life (Matador)

June 14, 2011 by  

A great educator once said: “Well you’re not hardcore, no you’re not hardcore, unless you live hardcore” or was that just Jack Black in School Of Rock? Regardless, after vinyl-only singles and rampageous DIY gigs, it is safe it say that Fucked Up fall all arms flailing into the hardcore category.

Their 2008 album “The Chemistry of Common Life” which won them the Polaris Music Prize in 2009, was steeped in hardcore scene convention and immersed in religious connotations. Their latest outing, however, couldn’t be more different. Gone are the spiritual euphemisms and religious explorations, in their place we find a 78-minute rock opera about love and death at an English lightbulb factory. Seriously.

Somewhere between their 12-hour marathon gig and their recent tour with industry giants Arcade Fire, Fucked Up have gotten a taste for the grandiose. They are no longer satisfied with thrashing out punk music, now they want to take you on a journey and I think you will be needing your seatbelt.

Album opener “The Recursive Girl” is chock-full of Abraham’s hoarse, growling vocals and hook-laden punk over smooth indie guitar riffs and the odd tinkling piano. An intriguing cocktail but one that works surprisingly well.

The indie-guitar bursts and operatic female harmonies forming the intro of “The Other Shoe” are quickly dispelled by a sharp punk interjection before Abraham’s roar joins the harmony. The track builds in intensity before it drops and comes crashing home in the final verse. This is anything but two-dimensional punk rock.

The whole album is crawling with hell-raisingly noisy, yet beautifully anthemic tracks that demonstrate the Canadian six-piece’s true versatility. The high-concept narrative of love and loss is reflective of a band that is continuing to grow and develop. There is nothing jaded or lacklustre about their present mind-set.

“David Comes To Life” is a very different beast to the Torontonian outfits previous two outings but they have not turned their back on their roots, they have just taken a step forward. Like Green Day before them, it takes a great deal of bravery and ambition to cast aside the safety net and take a leap of faith in a new direction. This is pure theatrics laced with their treasured DIY punk ethic and it deserves your attention.

[rating:4]


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